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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Image Number D1070-1

After beet pulp is added to polylactic acid (PLA), fracture tests reveal how durable the material is and what needs to be done to improve the bonding of the pulp to the PLA.

Scanning electron micrographs reveal what happens internally to a biodegradable plastic composite when it breaks apart. Panel A shows polylactic acid (PLA) without sugar beet pulp (SBP) added. Notice the material has clean fracture lines. In panels B, C, and D (addition of 15, 30, and 45 percent SBP), the material fractures along the PLA-SBP interface. Photographed in the Microscopic Imaging Unit at ERRC.


Photo by Gouping Bao.

640 pixels wide: (d1070-1.jpg)

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Last Modified: 8/13/2016
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