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Bamboo–Polylactic Acid (PLA) Composite Material for Structural Applications

Department of Aerospace Materials and Manufacturing, Polytechnic University of Madrid, 28031 Madrid, Spain
Institution Abengoa, 41014 Seville, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2017, 10(11), 1286;
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 24 October 2017 / Accepted: 3 November 2017 / Published: 9 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Advanced Composites)
Developing an eco-friendly industry based on green materials, sustainable technologies, and optimum processes with low environmental impact is a general societal goal, but this remains a considerable challenge to achieve. Despite the large number of research on green structural composites, limited investigation into the most appropriate manufacturing methodology to develop a structural material at industrial level has taken place. Laboratory panels have been manufactured with different natural fibers but the methodologies and values obtained could not be extrapolated at industrial level. Bamboo industry panels have increased in the secondary structural sector such as building application, flooring and sport device, because it is one of the cheapest raw materials. At industrial level, the panels are manufactured with only the inner and intermediate region of the bamboo culm. However, it has been found that the mechanical properties of the external shells of bamboo culm are much better than the average cross-sectional properties. Thin strips of bamboo (1.5 mm thick and 1500 mm long) were machined and arranged with the desired lay-up and shape to obtain laminates with specific properties better than those of conventional E-Glass/Epoxy laminates in terms of both strength and stiffness. The strips of bamboo were bonded together by a natural thermoplastic polylactic acid (PLA) matrix to meet biodegradability requirements. The innovative mechanical extraction process developed in this study can extract natural strip reinforcements with high performance, low cost, and high rate, with no negative environmental impact, as no chemical treatments are used. The process can be performed at the industrial level. Furthermore, in order to validate the structural applications of the composite, the mechanical properties were analyzed under ageing conditions. This material could satisfy the requirements for adequate mechanical properties and life cycle costs at industrial sectors such as energy or automotive. View Full-Text
Keywords: bamboo fiber; PLA resin; green structural composites; mechanical extraction; RFI process; environmental sustainability bamboo fiber; PLA resin; green structural composites; mechanical extraction; RFI process; environmental sustainability
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Pozo Morales, A.; Güemes, A.; Fernandez-Lopez, A.; Carcelen Valero, V.; De La Rosa Llano, S. Bamboo–Polylactic Acid (PLA) Composite Material for Structural Applications. Materials 2017, 10, 1286.

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