Thermal properties and spectral characterization of wood pulp reinforced bio-composite fibers
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Bio-composite fibers were developed from wood pulp and polypropylene (PP) by an extrusion process. The thermo-physical and mechanical properties of wood pulp-PP composite fibers, neat PP and wood pulp were studied using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). The thermal stability of bio-composite fibers was found to be significantly higher than pure wood pulp. An understanding into the melting behaviour of the composite system was obtained which would assist in selecting a suitable temperature profile for the extruder during processing. The visco-elastic properties of bio-composite fibers were also revealed from the study. The generated bio-composite fibers were also characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) to understand the nature of chemical 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. Changes in absorption peaks were observed in FTIR spectra of bio-composite fibers as compared to the pure wood pulp which indicated possible chemical linkages between the fiber and polymer matrix.
KeywordsWood pulp Polypropylene Bio-composite fiber Extrusion Thermal properties
The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge financial support of this study provided by the Ontario Centres of Excellence, Canada.
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