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Study of Agave Fiber-Reinforced Biocomposite Films

1
Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
3
College of Mechanical Engineering, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China
4
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT 06117, USA
5
Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, MI 48120, USA
6
Diageo, London NW10 7HQ, UK
7
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58102, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2019, 12(1), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12010099
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 24 December 2018 / Published: 29 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
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Abstract

Thermoplastic resins (linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and polypropylene (PP)) reinforced by different content ratios of raw agave fibers were prepared and characterized in terms of their mechanical, thermal, and chemical properties as well as their morphology. The morphological properties of agave fibers and films were characterized by scanning electron microscopy and the variations in chemical interactions between the filler and matrix materials were studied using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. No significant chemical interaction between the filler and matrix was observed. Melting point and crystallinity of the composites were evaluated for the effect of agave fiber on thermal properties of the composites, and modulus and yield strength parameters were inspected for mechanical analysis. While addition of natural fillers did not affect the overall thermal properties of the composite materials, elastic modulus and yielding stress exhibited direct correlation to the filler content and increased as the fiber content was increased. The highest elastic moduli were achieved with 20 wt % agave fiber for all the three composites. The values were increased by 319.3%, 69.2%, and 57.2%, for LLDPE, HDPE, and PP, respectively. The optimum yield stresses were achieved with 20 wt % fiber for LLDPE increasing by 84.2% and with 30 wt % for both HDPE and PP, increasing by 52% and 12.3% respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: agave fiber; polyethylene; polypropylene; thermoplastic; biocomposites; mechanical properties agave fiber; polyethylene; polypropylene; thermoplastic; biocomposites; 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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MDPI and ACS Style

Annandarajah, C.; Li, P.; Michel, M.; Chen, Y.; Jamshidi, R.; Kiziltas, A.; Hoch, R.; Grewell, D.; Montazami, R. Study of Agave Fiber-Reinforced Biocomposite Films. Materials 2019, 12, 99.

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