Compounding Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch/Cotton Fiber Hybrid Reinforced Poly(lactic acid) Biocomposites Aiming For High-temperature Packaging Applications

Utai Meekum, Pantip Kingchang


The manufacture of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) composites reinforced with both oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) and cotton fiber was investigated. The positive and significant effect of EFB on the heat distortion temperature (HDT) and flexural properties was determined by a 2k design of experiment study. Adding solid epoxy into the PLA matrix manifested inferior mechanical properties with no improvement to the HDT. The HDT and mechanical properties of the biocomposites were further improved by using an EFB/cotton hybridized system. The PLA/hybridized EFB/cotton biocomposites showed biodegradability and an HDT higher than 100 °C. However, the flowability of the material was retarded at high cotton fractions. Finally, adding talc filler into the biocomposites improved the flowability of the hybridized biocomposite systems, especially at low fiber and high talc contents. Nevertheless, inferior mechanical properties of the biocomposites were found for high talc and low fibers’ contents.


Poly(lactic acid) biocomposites; Hybridized fibers; Mechanical properties

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