Properties of kenaf fiber/polylactic acid biocomposites plasticized with polyethylene glycol

Razaina Mat Taib, Suganti Ramarad, Zainal Arifin Mohd Ishak, Mitsugu Todo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    62 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Biocomposites of kenaf fiber (KF) and polylactic acid (PLA) were prepared by an internal mixer and compression molding. PLA was plasticized with polyethylene glycol (PEG) (10 wt%) and evaluated as the polymer matrix (p-PLA). Fiber loadings were varied between 0 and 40 wt%. The tensile, dynamic mechanical, and morphological properties and water absorption behavior of these composites were studied. Reinforcing effect of KF was observed when fiber loading exceeded 10 wt% despite of the inferior fiber-matrix adhesion observed via scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Un-plasticized PLA/KF composite exhibited higher tensile properties than its plasticized counterpart. Fiber breakage and heavily coated short pulled-out of fibers were observed from the SEM micrographs of the composite. The presence of PEG might have disturbed the fiber-matrix interaction between KF and PLA in the plasticized composites. Addition of PEG slightly improved the un-notched impact strength of the composites. Dynamic mechanical analysis showed that the storage and loss moduli of p-PLA/KF composites increased with the increase in fiber loading due to increasing restrictions to mobility of the polymer molecules. The tan delta of the composites in contrast showed an opposite trend. p-PLA and p-PLA/KF composites exhibited non-Fickian behavior of water absorption. SEM examination revealed microcracks on p-PLA and p-PLA/KF surfaces.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1213-1222
    Number of pages10
    JournalPolymer Composites
    Volume31
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Ceramics and Composites
    • General Chemistry
    • Polymers and Plastics
    • Materials Chemistry

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