Composites and foams based on polylactic acid (PLA)

Authors: Teymoorzadeh, Hedieh
Advisor: Rodrigue, Denis
Abstract: This study reports on the production and characterization of natural fiber reinforced polylactic acid (PLA) composites. Foaming PLA and its composites was also undertaken to investigate the effect of injection molding conditions (shot size) and natural fiber (flax and wood flour) content on the final properties of the final products. In the first part, PLA was mixed with flax fiber via extrusion and further processed by injection molding to manufacture the final parts. The effect of flax fiber content (15, 25, and 40% wt.) on the morphological, mechanical, thermal, and rheological properties of the composites was evaluated. In the second step, wood flour (WF) was selected to reinforce PLA. Compounding of PLA and WF was carried out in a twin-screw extruder followed by injection molding to obtain the test specimens. A complete series of morphological, mechanical, thermal, and dynamic mechanical analysis was performed to get a complete evaluation of WF addition (15, 25, and 40% wt.) on the properties. Finally, the last step studied PLA composites with natural fibers for the purpose of foaming. Foaming was carried out using an exothermic foaming agent (azodicarbonamide) via injection molding. Injection foaming proceeded after mixing PLA and natural fibers by extrusion. In this case, the shot size (amount of material injected into the mold: 31, 33, 36, 38, and 43% of the machine capacity) and reinforcement content (15, 25, and 40% wt.) were varied. The characterization included mechanical and thermal properties. The results showed that both flax and wood flour led to increased mechanical properties including flexural modulus and impact strength. Moreover, foaming was also effective for neat PLA and PLA composites, i.e. the overall density of the parts was significantly reduced.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2016
Open Access Date: 24 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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