Development and morphological characterization of wood pulp reinforced biocomposite fibers
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Biocomposite fiber has been developed from wood pulp and polypropylene (PP) by an extrusion process and the generated biocomposite fibers were characterized to understand the nature of interaction between wood pulp reinforcement and PP matrix. The use of maleated polypropylene (MAPP) as a compatibilizer was investigated in relation to the fiber microstructure. Fiber length analysis showed that most of the fiber lengths lie within the range of 0.2–1.0 mm. Changes in absorption peaks were observed in Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of biocomposite fibers as compared to the virgin wood pulp, which indicated possible chemical linkages between the fiber and polymer matrix. SEM study was carried out to observe fiber–matrix adhesion at the interface within the composite and MAPP treatment was found to be effective in increasing reinforcing fibers–matrix compatibility. X-ray computed tomography was conducted to understand the internal architecture of the biocomposite fiber and the results showed that with incorporation of additional wood pulp content, the fiber becomes more aligned along length axis possibly due to compression and die geometry of the extruder.
KeywordsFiber Length Fiber Orientation Maleic Anhydride Wood Fiber Twin Screw Extruder
The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge financial support of this study given by the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), Canada.