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Fibers 2019, 7(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib7020015

Quantitative Assessment and Visualisation of the Wood and Poly(Lactic Acid) Interface in Sandwich Laminate Composites

1
Manufacturing and Bioproducts, Scion, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand
2
Department of Biocomposites, University of South Brittany, Lorient CEDEX 56321, France
3
School of Engineering, University of Waikato, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
4
Department of Biology, University of Hamburg, 21031 Hamburg-Bergedorf, Germany
5
Thünen Institute of Wood Research, 21031 Hamburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 30 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Plastic Composites)
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Abstract

Fluorescence microscopy was applied to understand adhesion interfaces developed within laminated composite sandwiches formed between poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and wood veneers. Composites formed with maple veneer had greater tensile bond strength when manufactured at 200 °C (10.4 N/mm2) compared to formation at 140 °C (8.7 N/mm2), while significantly lower bond strength was achieved using spruce veneers, at 5.2 and 3.5 N/mm2, respectively. Qualitative and quantitative confocal microscopy assessments revealed differing bondline thicknesses and PLA ingress within the wood ultrastructure. Forming maple veneer composites at 200 °C promoted greater PLA mobility away from the bondline to reinforce the wood–PLA interface and deliver associated greater composite bond strength. The addition of 25% wood fibre to PLA led to fibre alignment and overlap within bondlines contributing to relatively thicker, heterogeneous bondlines. Study outcomes show that the composite processing temperature impacts the adhesion interface and composite performance and will have broad application over veneer overlays, laminates and wood plastic composites (WPCs) using wood, particles or fibres with PLA. View Full-Text
Keywords: polylactic acid; wood plastic composites; laminates; adhesion; fluorescence microscopy polylactic acid; wood plastic composites; laminates; adhesion; fluorescence microscopy
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Grigsby, W.; Gager, V.; Recabar, K.; Krause, A.; Gaugler, M.; Luedtke, J. Quantitative Assessment and Visualisation of the Wood and Poly(Lactic Acid) Interface in Sandwich Laminate Composites. Fibers 2019, 7, 15.

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