PLA Based Biopolymer Reinforced with Natural Fibre: A Review

Original Paper

Abstract

In recent years renewed interest on the development of biopolymers, based on constituents obtained from natural resources is gaining much attention. Natural fibres such as kenaf, hemp, flax, jute, bamboo, elephant grass and sisal based polymer with thermoplastic and thermoset matrices offer reductions in weight, cost and carbon dioxide emission, less reliance on foreign oil resources and recyclability. Reinforced biopolymer with natural fibres is the future of “green composites” addressing many sustainability issues. Among the available biopolymer, PLA (polylactide) is the only natural resource polymer produced at a large scale of over 140,000 tonnes per year. Natural fibre reinforced PLA based biocomposites are widely investigated by the polymer scientists in the last decade to compete with non renewable petroleum based products. The type of fibre used plays an important role in fibre/matrix adhesion and thereby affects the mechanical performance of the biocomposites. The aim of this review is to investigate the effects of processing methods, fibre length, fibre orientation, fibre-volume fraction, and fibre-surface treatment on the fibre/matrix adhesion and mechanical properties of natural-fibre-reinforced PLA composites. Although much work has been performed to engineer the design of such superior biocomposites, the information is scattered in nature. A comprehensive review on the major technical considerations undertaken to prepare such biocomposites over the last decade is investigated to address the feasibility of wide scale industrial acceptance to such biocomposites. A brief review on the available natural fibres and biopolymer is also given for a comparative study.

Keywords

PLA Natural fibres Bio-based fibres Fibres Biopolymer 

Abbreviations

BRAF

Bleached red algae fibre

PLA

Polylactide/polylactic acid

PLLA

Poly-l-lactide

PDLA

Poly-d-lactide

sc-PLA

Stereocomplex PLA

PHA

Polyhroxyalkanoates

PHB

Poly-β-hydroxybutyrate

PHBV

Poly-β-hydroxybutyrate-co-valerate

CA

Cellulose acetate

CAP

Cellulose acetate propionate

CAB

Cellulose acetate butyrate

WPC

Wood plastic composite

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Civil Environmental and Chemical EngineeringRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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