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Article

Feasibility of Barley Straw Fibers as Reinforcement in Fully Biobased Polyethylene Composites: Macro and Micro Mechanics of the Flexural Strength

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LEPAMAP+PRODIS research group, University of Girona, Maria Aurèlia Capmany, 61, 17003 Girona, Spain
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Chemical Engineering Department, Bioagres Group, Universidad de Córdoba, 14014 Córdoba, Spain
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Advanced Biomaterials and Nanotechnology, Dept of Chemical Engineering, University of Girona, 17003 Girona, Spain
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Department of Industrial and Materials Science, Chalmers University of Technology, SE 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Fabrizio Sarasini
Molecules 2020, 25(9), 2242; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25092242
Received: 14 April 2020 / Revised: 6 May 2020 / Accepted: 9 May 2020 / Published: 10 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lignocellulosic Biomass)
Awareness on deforestation, forest degradation, and its impact on biodiversity and global warming, is giving rise to the use of alternative fiber sources in replacement of wood feedstock for some applications such as composite materials and energy production. In this category, barley straw is an important agricultural crop, due to its abundance and availability. In the current investigation, the residue was submitted to thermomechanical process for fiber extraction and individualization. The high content of holocellulose combined with their relatively high aspect ratio inspires the potential use of these fibers as reinforcement in plastic composites. Therefore, fully biobased composites were fabricated using barley fibers and a biobased polyethylene (BioPE) as polymer matrix. BioPE is completely biobased and 100% recyclable. As for material performance, the flexural properties of the materials were studied. A good dispersion of the reinforcement inside the plastic was achieved contributing to the elevate increments in the flexural strength. At a 45 wt.% of reinforcement, an increment in the flexural strength of about 147% was attained. The mean contribution of the fibers to the flexural strength was assessed by means of a fiber flexural strength factor, reaching a value of 91.4. The micromechanical analysis allowed the prediction of the intrinsic flexural strength of the fibers, arriving up to around 700 MPa, and coupling factors between 0.18 and 0.19, which are in line with other natural fiber composites. Overall, the investigation brightness on the potential use of barley straw residues as reinforcement in fully biobased polymer composites. View Full-Text
Keywords: barley straw; composite; flexural strength; biobased polyethylene barley straw; composite; flexural strength; biobased polyethylene
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MDPI and ACS Style

Serra-Parareda, F.; Julián, F.; Espinosa, E.; Rodríguez, A.; Espinach, F.X.; Vilaseca, F. Feasibility of Barley Straw Fibers as Reinforcement in Fully Biobased Polyethylene Composites: Macro and Micro Mechanics of the Flexural Strength. Molecules 2020, 25, 2242. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25092242

AMA Style

Serra-Parareda F, Julián F, Espinosa E, Rodríguez A, Espinach FX, Vilaseca F. Feasibility of Barley Straw Fibers as Reinforcement in Fully Biobased Polyethylene Composites: Macro and Micro Mechanics of the Flexural Strength. Molecules. 2020; 25(9):2242. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25092242

Chicago/Turabian Style

Serra-Parareda, Ferran, Fernando Julián, Eduardo Espinosa, Alejandro Rodríguez, Francesc X. Espinach, and Fabiola Vilaseca. 2020. "Feasibility of Barley Straw Fibers as Reinforcement in Fully Biobased Polyethylene Composites: Macro and Micro Mechanics of the Flexural Strength" Molecules 25, no. 9: 2242. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25092242

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