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Poly(lactide acid) composites reinforced with fibers obtained from different tissue types of Picea sitchensis

Authors

  • A. Gregorova,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Material Sciences and Process Engineering, Institute of Wood Science and Technology, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna A-1190, Austria
    • Department of Material Sciences and Process Engineering, Institute of Wood Science and Technology, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna A-1190, Austria
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  • M. Hrabalova,

    1. Department of Agrobiotechnology, Institute for Natural Materials Technology, IFA-Tulln, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Tulln A-3430, Austria
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  • R. Wimmer,

    1. Wood Technology and Wood-Based Composites Unit, Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Göttingen D-37077, Germany
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  • B. Saake,

    1. Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries, Institute of Wood Technology and Wood Biology, Hamburg 21031, Germany
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  • C. Altaner

    1. Department of Chemistry, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
    Current affiliation:
    1. School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Auckland, Auckland 92019, New Zealand
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Abstract

Wood fibers vary in their properties across species, across trees of the same species, and within single trees. This work takes advantage of wood fibers reinforcing poly(lactic acid) composites that originate from different tissue types of the species Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis). Fibers were prepared with high temperature thermo-mechanical processing (TMP) from juvenile, mature, and compression wood tissues of Sitka spruce. Composites were made by solution casting with subsequent hot-pressing. Thermal as well as mechanical properties were determined using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), and tensile testing. The obtained results showed that the chemical and physical properties of different tissue-type Sitka spruce fibers have significant effects on the thermal and mechanical properties of the Polylactic acid (PLA)/Sitka fiber composites. To increase interfacial compatibility between the hydrophilic fibers and the hydrophobic polymer matrix, the fibers were treated with vinyltrimethoxysilane (VTMO), while PLA was modified with 4,4-methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI). It was found that PLA/Sitka composites treated with VTMO and MDI exhibited improved thermal and mechanical properties, compared to the unmodified control. The work also demonstrates that there is potential to improve biobased composites by utilizing the natural variability of wood fibers. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009

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