Submitted to: Journal of Natural Fibers
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2009
Publication Date: 7/1/2009
Citation: Holser, R.A. 2009. Biocomposites Prepared from Fiber Processing Wastes and Glycerol Polyesters. Journal of Natural Fibers. 6(3):272-277. Interpretive Summary: Small particles generated during the cleaning of commercial textile fibers were combined with a biobased polymer to produce new materials with improved strength and flexibility. These biocomposites are made from low-value agricultural processing waste and are biodegradable. The process does not require catalysts or solvents and is compatible with common compression molding technology used for plastics.
Technical Abstract: Biocomposites were prepared by the addition of flax fiber processing waste to glycerol and adipic acid mixtures. The processing waste consisted of fiber, cuticle, and shive fragments generated during the commercial cleaning of retted flax bast fibers. These waste materials were added at 1, 3, or 5 wt% levels to polymer formulations containing either 10% or 20% molar excess acid. The solids were randomly mixed with the polymer and cured at 125°C. Tensile properties of the resulting biocomposites were determined by ASTM D 3039/D 3039M. Biocomposites formulated with 20% excess acid showed an increase in Young’s modulus from 1.44 MPa to 8.56 MPa and ultimate load from 4.50 N to 8.77 N with 5 wt% added solids compared to control specimens. The percent strain values for these samples showed a corresponding decrease as the level of added solids increased.