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The potential of wood fibers as reinforcement in cellular biopolymers
Laboratoire de Technologie des Composites et Polymères (LTC), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Schweiz.
Laboratoire de Technologie des Composites et Polymères (LTC), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Schweiz.
New Materials and Composites, INNVENTIA AB, Stockholm.
Laboratoire de Technologie des Composites et Polymères (LTC), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Schweiz.
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2012 (English)In: Journal of cellular plastics (Print), ISSN 0021-955X, E-ISSN 1530-7999, Vol. 48, no 1, 71-103 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Wood fiber-reinforced polylactic acid composite foams have been successfully produced using supercritical carbon dioxide. The addition of fibers had a strong effect on microstructure of the foams. An increase in wood fiber content implied smaller average cell size and higher average cell wall thickness as estimated from image analysis of scanning electron microscopy micrographs. Addition of 10 wt% wood fibers seemed to be a limit to obtain foams, with the used processing conditions. The stiffness properties of the foams in compression improved upon addition of wood fibers. A significant increase of specific stiffness was achieved by adding 5-10 wt% wood fibers. It was shown that the stiffness was about 50% higher in the transverse direction for reinforced foams. The strength in the transverse direction increased for foams with unmodified wood fibers but decreased for foams with two types of treated wood fibers as compared with the strength of the pure polylactic acid foam of similar density. A butyl tetracarboxylic acid treatment followed by an additional surfactant treatment results in reduced wood fiber network-forming ability and reduced fiber-matrix adhesion. This contributes to the inferior observed strength properties in this study. The experimental stiffness was comparable with a superposed micromechanical model for a three-phase fiber-reinforced foam. The model shows that increasing the relative density, that is, the ratio of the density of the foam to the density of the composite material, by adding wood fibers results in a noteworthy increase in the transverse compression stiffness of the foams but only at relative density values above 0.2 for the used processing conditions in this study. The key factor for reinforcement is the relation between foam relative density and fiber volume fraction in the preform. The foaming conditions have to be adapted for each wood fiber content to obtain foams with the desired relative density.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 48, no 1, 71-103 p.
Keyword [en]
polylactic acid (PLA), wood fibers, foams, supercritical processing, cellular composite, micromechanical modeling
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering science with specialization in Applied Mechanics
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-169125DOI: 10.1177/0021955X11431172ISI: 000299347500004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-169125DiVA: diva2:505897
Available from: 2012-02-27 Created: 2012-02-23 Last updated: 2012-11-14Bibliographically approved

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Gamstedt, E. Kristofer
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