Preparation and Characterization of Poly(lactic Acid)-based Composite Reinforced with Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch Fiber and Nanosilica

Yin Yin Yee, Yern Chee Ching, Shaifulazuar Rozali, Nur Awanis Hashim, Ramesh Singh

Abstract


The properties of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) bio-composite films reinforced with oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) fiber and nanosilica were studied in this work. The composite films were prepared via the solvent casting method. The composites were characterized via Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), UV-visible spectroscopy, field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), tensile testing, and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Ultraviolet visible spectroscopy results revealed that the PLA-based composites and neat PLA had similar light transmittances of approximately 89%. The FTIR and FESEM results showed that OPEFB fibers and nanosilica were embedded into the PLA matrix. The tensile strength of the composites with addition of nanosilica increased with an increasing fiber load content. The XRD analysis showed that the addition of organic or inorganic silica reduced the crystallinity of the composites. The water vapor permeability test results indicated that the inorganic silica decreased the diffusion rate of water molecules through the polymer film. The OPEFB-reinforced PLA blend with additional organic silica exhibited a higher thermal stability than the composites reinforced with inorganic silica.

Keywords


PLA; OPEFB fiber; Nanosilica; Tensile properties; Reinforcement; Thermal properties

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