|LIU, BO - Washington State University|
|BHALADHARE, SACHIN - Washington State University|
|ZHAN, PENG - Washington State University|
|JIANG, LONG - Washington State University|
|ZHANG, JINWEN - Washington State University|
Submitted to: Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/11/2011
Publication Date: 11/8/2011
Citation: Liu, B., Bhaladhare, S., Zhan, P., Jiang, L., Zhang, J., Liu, L.S., Hotchkiss, A.T. 2011. Morphology and properties of thermoplastic sugar beet pulp and poly(butylene adipate-co-terepthalate) blends. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research. 50(24):13859-13865.
Interpretive Summary: Composites made from synthetic polymer as matrix phase and natural fiber as filler phase have been used widely in civic engineering and as advanced materials. The challenge in preparation of such materials is the means to enhance interfacial adhesion between the two phases. In this study, the natural fibers was first converted to a thermoplastic, and then coextruded with the synthetic polymers in the presence of polymeric cross-linkers. The resultant composites possess higher mechanical properties and stronger resistance to water, due to a fine dispersion of one phase with the other and good adhesion between the two, which allows a smooth stress transfer.
Technical Abstract: In this work, sugar beet pulp (SBP), the residue remaining after sugar extraction, was first turned into a thermoplastic-like compound (TSBP) by extrusion in the presence of water and glycerol. The resulting TSBP was then blended with poly(butylene adipate-co-terepthalate) (PBAT) and extruded into sheets in a single process. The effects of polymeric diphenyl methane diisocyanate (pMDI) as a compatibilizer and TSBP content on rheological properties, phase morphology, mechanical properties and water absorption of the extruded sheets were studied. In comparison, dry SBP powder was also blended with PBAT. It was found that when SBP was used as a thermoplastic in mixing, it yielded blends with much finer dispersion of the SBP phase than when SBP alone was used as a filler in mixing. The dispersion of SBP in the blends was greatly improved with the addition of pMDI. The PBAT/SBP blends with fine phase morphology showed enhanced mechanical properties and moisture resistance.