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Fibers 2018, 6(4), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6040098

Physico-Mechanical, Thermal and Biodegradation Performance of Random Flax/Polylactic Acid and Unidirectional Flax/Polylactic Acid Biocomposites

1
Department of Textile Engineering, Southeast University, Dhaka 1208, Bangladesh
2
Department of Fabric Engineering, Bangladesh University of Textiles, Dhaka 1208, Bangladesh
3
Centre for Natural Material Innovation, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1PX, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 August 2018 / Revised: 28 November 2018 / Accepted: 30 November 2018 / Published: 10 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Fibre Biocomposites)
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Abstract

Fully biodegradable flax/polylactic acid (PLA) thermoplastic composites were fabricated by using random (nonwoven mat) and aligned (unidirectional yarn) flax fiber as reinforcements (39% flax by volume) and Polylactic acid (PLA) as matrix. Results revealed that the aligned flax fibers have a greater reinforcing effect due to the uniform distribution of load axially along the fiber length in the composite. The aligned flax/PLA and random flax/PLA showed the tensile strength of (83.0 ± 5.0) and (151.0 ± 7.0) MPa respectively and flexural strength of (130.0 ± 5.0) and (215.0 ± 7.2) MPa respectively. Young’s modulus of (9.3 ± 1.5) and (18.5 ± 2.0) GPa and flexural modulus of (9.9 ± 1.0) and (18.8 ± 1.0) GPa was attained for the random and unidirectional fiber composites, respectively. It was also found that both composite constituents, fiber and matrix, were degradable if buried in compost soil (ready soil after composting process), which is a distinctive advantage of the new composite structures. Remarkably, the biodegradation property of aligned flax fiber composites was significantly lower than random mat composites, possibly due to the less water swelling behavior of the aligned fiber composites. After 120 days burial test, the aligned flax/PLA composite displayed the reduction of 19% mass, residual flexural strength and modulus decreased by 57 and 50% respectively, while the random mat composites exhibited the loss of 27% mass, residual flexural strength and modulus declined by 80% at the same period. View Full-Text
Keywords: PLA; flax; thermoplastic composites; mechanical properties; biodegradability; durability PLA; flax; thermoplastic composites; mechanical properties; biodegradability; durability
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Akonda, M.; Alimuzzaman, S.; Shah, D.U.; Rahman, A.M. Physico-Mechanical, Thermal and Biodegradation Performance of Random Flax/Polylactic Acid and Unidirectional Flax/Polylactic Acid Biocomposites. Fibers 2018, 6, 98.

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