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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Bioproducts Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335387

Research Project: Bioproducts from Agricultural Feedstocks

Location: Bioproducts Research

Title: Polyester composites reinforced with corona-treated fibers from pine, eucalyptus and sugarcane bagasse

Author
item Mesquita, Ricardo - Universidade Federal De Lavras
item Cesar, Antonia - Universidade Federal De Lavras
item Mendes, Rafael - Universidade Federal De Lavras
item Mendes, Lourival - Universidade Federal De Lavras
item Marconcini, Jose - Embrapa
item Glenn, Gregory - Greg
item Tonoli, Gustavo - Universidade Federal De Lavras

Submitted to: Journal of Polymers and the Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/11/2016
Publication Date: 10/14/2016
Citation: Mesquita, R.G., Cesar, A.A., Mendes, R.F., Mendes, L.M., Marconcini, J.M., Glenn, G.M., Tonoli, G.H. 2016. Polyester composites reinforced with corona-treated fibers from pine, eucalyptus and sugarcane bagasse. Journal of Polymers and the Environment. doi: 10.1007/s10924-016-0864-6.

Interpretive Summary: Agricultural fibers have the potential of increasing the strength of plastics while increasing the amount of renewable content. However, there is often poor adhesions between the fiber surface and the plastic matrix. Scientists at the Lavras University in Brazil cooperated with USDA-ARS scientists in Albany, CA to investigate the potential of corona-treated fibers from trees and sugarcane bagasse in making plastic composites. The treatment improved the properties of plastic composite materials. The results of this study could help efforts to increase the renewable content of traditional plastic materials.

Technical Abstract: This study aims to evaluate plant fibers that were surface activated with NaOH and corona discharge before incorporating in ortho unsaturated polyester-based fiber composites. It demonstrates the potential use of lignocellulosic particles, especially eucalyptus that presented the higher values for all the mechanical properties analyzed. The corona discharge treatment increased impact strength and tensile strength of the composites, and decreased water absorption. SEM images showed that the surface activation generally improved the interfacial adhesion between fibers and polyester matrix. Corona treatment may depolymerize the lignocellulosic material and smaller fragments may actually help increase the interaction with the polyester.