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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Bioproducts from Agricultural Feedstocks

Location: Bioproducts Research

Title: Tps/pcl Composite Reinforced with Treated Sisal Fibers: Property, Biodegradation and Water-Absorption

Authors
item Compos, Adriana -
item Tonoli, Gustavo -
item Marconcini, J.M. -
item Klamczynski, Artur
item Gregorski, Kay
item Wood, Delilah
item Williams, Tina
item Chiou, Bor-Sen
item Imam, Syed

Submitted to: Polymer Degradation and Stability
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 15, 2012
Publication Date: August 1, 2012
Citation: Compos, A., Tonoli, G., Marconcini, J., Klamczynski, A., Gregorski, K.S., Wood, D.F., Williams, T.G., Chiou, B., Imam, S.H. 2013. TPS/PCL composite reinforced with treated sisal fibers: property, biodegradation and water-absorption. Polymer Degradation and Stability. 21(1):1-7.

Interpretive Summary: Starch can be plasticized and turn into thermoplastics. However it has poor thermal/mechanical properties and is sensitive to moisture. Efforts were made to blend starch with another biodegradable synthetic polymer, polycaprolactone and to reinforce the matrix with cellulosic fibers derived from agricultural resource. Results indicated good fiber dispersion in the matrix as well as good interaction between fibers and the matrix. Blends with 20 percent fiber content showed some fiber agglomeration. The addition of 10 percent(dry weight-basis) fibers showed increased crystallinity in extruded material that also exhibited reduced water absorption capacity. Finding new value-added industrial uses for starch benefits American farmers and industry, and is good for the environment.

Technical Abstract: Sisal fibers bleached with sodium-hydroxide followed by hydrogen peroxide treatment were incorporated in a thermoplastic starch;-polycaprolactone (TPS/PCL) blend via extrusion processing and examined for their property, biodegradability and water-absorption. Scanning electron microscopy revealed well dispersed fiber in the matrix and extruded samples had smooth and homogenous surfaces. There was also a good interaction between fibers and the matrix. Blends with 20% fiber content showed some fiber agglomeration. The addition of 10% (dry weight-basis) fibers showed increased crystallinity in extruded material that also exhibited reduced water absorption capacity. The thermoplastic starch samples without any additives had the highest rate and extent of degradation as evidenced by the CO2 evolution and the neat PCL samples degraded the slowest. Addition of fiber in the TPS/PCL blend exhibited the degradation rates and extents that were somewhat in between the pure TPS and neat PCL.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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