Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2007
Publication Date: 10/19/2007
Citation: Finkenstadt, V.L., Liu, L.S., Liu, C., Willett, J.L. 2007. EVALUATION OF POLY(LACTIC ACID) AND AGRICULTURAL COPRODUCTS AS GREEN COMPOSITE MATERIALS. Meeting Abstract. xx.
Technical Abstract: Green composite materials of poly(lactic acid)(PLA) and agricultural coproducts such as sugar beet pulp(SBP), cuphea, lesquerella, and milkweed were compounded using a twin-screw extruder, molded by injection molding and evaluated for structural and mechanical properties using acoustic emission and confocal microscopy. Microscopic analysis of tensile bars revealed that agricultural fillers were evenly distributed in the PLA matrix phase. As the filler weight fraction increased, filler particles aggregated with concurrent loss of tensile strength. Acoustic emission analysis suggested the role of filler-matrix debonding during fracture at high filler content. Ductile behavior was observed for PLA-milkweed composites but not for SBP, cuphea or lesquerella. PLA composites using glycerol-plasticized SBP also exhibited ductile behavior. Confocal microscopy revealed the formation of co-continuous tendrils of PLA and SBP.