The Effects of Henequen Cellulose Treated with Polyethylene Glycol on Properties of Polylactic Acid Composites

Francisco Javier Moscoso Sánchez, Abraham Alvarado, Liliana Martínez-Chávez, Rosaura Hernández-Montelongo, Victor Vladimir Fernández Escamilla, Gonzalo Canche Escamilla

Abstract


Cellulosic henequen fibers were subjected to steam explosion and impregnated with polyethylene glycol (PEG) to improve fiber-matrix compatibility in polylactic acid (PLA) composites. Through Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) it was shown that the hydroxyl, methyl, and ether functional groups were increased after the steam explosion treatment. Changes in the cellulose morphology caused by the steam explosion and impregnation with PEG were observed via scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Good adhesion of the treated cellulose and the PLA matrix was observed through improvement of the tensile strength and Young’s modulus of the PLA composite. The PEG impregnated into the fiber plasticized the PLA matrix and reduced the Tg from 59 °C to 52 °C. The increase in crystallinity confirmed the cellulose fibers induced nucleation of the PLA, which resulted in greater rigidity of the PLA composites.

Keywords


Biodegradable; Biopolymers; Composites; Polylactic acid; Polyethylene glycol; Henequen fibers

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