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Polymers 2018, 10(8), 896; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10080896

Effect of Intercalation Structure of Organo-Modified Montmorillonite/Polylactic Acid on Wheat Straw Fiber/Polylactic Acid Composites

1
Key Laboratory of Bio-Based Material Science and Technology (Ministry of Education), Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
2
Beijing Key Laboratory of Quality Evaluation Technology for Hygiene and Safety of Plastics, Beijing Technology and Business University, Beijing 100048, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 July 2018 / Revised: 4 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
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Abstract

In this work, an easy way to prepare the polylactic acid (PLA)/wheat straw fiber (WSF) composite was proposed. The method involved uses either the dopamine-treated WSF or the two-step montmorillonite (MMT)-modified WSF as the filler material. In order to achieve the dispersibility and exfoliation of MMT, it was modified by 12-aminododecanoic acid using a two-step route. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were performed to characterize the modified MMT and the coated WSF. As for the properties of PLA/WSF composites, some thermal (using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and thermogravimetric analysis) and mechanical properties (flexural, tensile, and impact) were analyzed. The results showed that the dopamine was successfully coated onto the WSF. Furthermore, Na-MMT was successfully transformed to organo-montmorillonite (OMMT) and formed an exfoliated structure. In addition, a better dispersion of MMT was obtained using the two-step treatment. The interlayer spacing of modified MMT was 4.06 nm, which was 123% higher than that of the unmodified MMT. Additionally, FT-IR analysis suggested that OMMT diffused into the PLA matrix. The thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) showed that a higher thermal stability of PLA/WSF composites was obtained for the modified MMT and dopamine. The results also showed that both the dopamine treated WSF and the two-step-treated MMT exhibited a positive influence on the mechanical properties of PLA/WSF composites, especially on the tensile strength, which increased by 367% compared to the unmodified precursors. This route offers researchers a potential scheme to improve the thermal and mechanical properties of PLA/WSF composites in a low-cost way. View Full-Text
Keywords: organo-modified montmorillonite; two-step treatment; wheat straw fiber/polylactic acid composites; dopamine; mechanical properties organo-modified montmorillonite; two-step treatment; wheat straw fiber/polylactic acid composites; dopamine; mechanical properties
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Fan, Q.; Han, G.; Cheng, W.; Tian, H.; Wang, D.; Xuan, L. Effect of Intercalation Structure of Organo-Modified Montmorillonite/Polylactic Acid on Wheat Straw Fiber/Polylactic Acid Composites. Polymers 2018, 10, 896.

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