Mechanical and thermal properties of poly(butylene succinate)/plant fiber biodegradable composite



Biodegradable polymeric composites were fabricated from poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) and kenaf fiber (KF) by melt mixing technique. The mechanical and dynamic mechanical properties, morphology and crystallization behavior were investigated for PBS/KF composites with different KF contents (0, 10, 20, and 30 wt %). The tensile modulus, storage modulus and the crystallization rate of PBS in the composites were all efficiently enhanced. With the incorporation of 30% KF, the tensile modulus and storage modulus (at 40°C) of the PBS/KF composite were increased by 53 and 154%, respectively, the crystallization temperature in cooling process at 10°C/min from the melt was increased from 76.3 to 87.7°C, and the half-time of PBS/KF composite in isothermal crystallization at 96 and 100°C were reduced to 10.8% and 14.3% of that of the neat PBS, respectively. SEM analysis indicates that the adhesion between PBS and KF needs further improvement. These results signify that KF is efficient in improving the tensile modulus, storage modulus and the crystallization rate of PBS. Hence, this study provides a good option for preparing economical biodegradable composite. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010