Submitted to: Natural Fibers, Biopolymers, and the Biocomposites
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/15/2008
Publication Date: 7/21/2008
Citation: Holser, R.A., Annis, P., Knopp, J. 2008. Preparation of Flax Shive and Processing Waste for Use in Biocomposites. Natural Fibers, Biopolymers, and the Biocomposites. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Biocomposites are materials that incorporate natural fibers within a polymer matrix to improve strength properties and are currently sought for applications where strong but light-weight materials are advantageous. However, natural fibers are predominantly composed of cellulose and possess hydrophilic surfaces that require treatment to promote adhesion with the typically hydrophobic polymer matrix. To produce biocomposites without prior modification or treatment of the fiber a more hydrophilic polymer was selected for the polymer matrix. Several biocomposites were prepared by combining glycerol-based polyesters with cotton, flax, and the process waste generated during fiber production. The process waste contains fiber fragments and fines that are collected as the fiber is cleaned and has no commercial value. The glycerol polyesters were formulated with excess amounts of diacids to promote esterification with the hydroxyl groups on the fibers. The compatibility of these natural fibers with the glycerol polyester matrix and the ability to establish ester linkages between the fibers and the polymer network produced materials with increased tensile strengths.