|Liu, Cheng Kung|
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 15, 2006
Publication Date: September 14, 2006
Citation: Finkenstadt, V.L., Liu, L.S., Liu, C., Coffin, D.R., Willett, J.L., Fishman, M., Hicks, K.B. 2006. SUGAR BEET PULP AND POLY (LACTIC ACID) GREEN COMPOSITES. Meeting Abstract. xx. Technical Abstract: Biodegradable composite materials of sugar beet pulp (SBP) and poly (lactic acid)(PLA) were compounded using a twin-screw extruder, molded by injection molding and evaluated for structural, mechanical, and moisture resistant properties, as well as biodegradability. Microscopic analysis revealed that the SBP filler was evenly distributed in the PLA matrix phase. At lower SBP content, the filler was surrounded by the PLA matrix. As the SBP fraction increased, filler particles aggregated in the matrix while PLA remained as a continuous phase. Due to the rigid nature of SBP, the PLA-SBP composites showed enhanced stiffness as the SBP fraction increased. However, as characterized by dynamic mechanical analysis and tensile strength testing, the PLA composites with higher SBP weight fraction were less fracture resistant and more moisture sensitive. Acoustic emission analysis further suggested the role of filler-matrix debonding during fracture at higher SBP contents. Thus, the improvement of filler-matrix adhesion appears to be a strategy to enhance the mechanical property of composites with a higher SBP/PLA ratio. Acceleration of the biodegradation of PLA-SBP composites was observed as the SBP fraction increased.