Applied Composite Materials

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 421–438 | Cite as

PLLA/Flax Mat/Balsa Bio-Sandwich Manufacture and Mechanical Properties

  • Antoine Le Duigou
  • Jean-Marc Deux
  • Peter Davies
  • Christophe Baley


This paper describes the manufacture and mechanical characterization of a sandwich material which is 100% bio-sourced. The flax mat/PLLA facings and balsa core can also be composted at end of service life. Manufacture is by vacuum bag moulding. The optimum moulding time and temperature are a compromise between ensuring good impregnation and avoiding degradation, and holding for 60 min at 180°C was found to be satisfactory. The mechanical properties of the bio-sandwich obtained are compared to those of a traditional glass reinforced polyester balsa sandwich. The flexural strength is 30% lower, as predicted based on the facing properties. Skin/core adhesion is also measured using debonding tests. Crack propagation occurs at the skin/core interface in the traditional sandwich but within the facing in the bio-sandwich. The impregnation of the core in the two materials is examined using X-ray micro-tomography.


Sandwich Biofibre Biopolymer Vacuum forming 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antoine Le Duigou
    • 1
  • Jean-Marc Deux
    • 1
  • Peter Davies
    • 2
  • Christophe Baley
    • 1
  1. 1.LIMATB (Laboratoire d’Ingénierie des Matériaux de Bretagne)Université de Bretagne SudLorient CedexFrance
  2. 2.IFREMER, Centre de Brest, Materials and Structures GroupPlouzané CedexFrance

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