Get access

Pineapple leaf fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites: Effects of fiber length and fiber content on their characteristics

Authors

  • Rungsima Chollakup,

    Corresponding author
    1. Kasetsart Agricultural and Agro-Industrial Product Improvement Institute, Kasetsart University, 50 Phaholyotin, Chatujak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
    • Kasetsart Agricultural and Agro-Industrial Product Improvement Institute, Kasetsart University, 50 Phaholyotin, Chatujak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Rattana Tantatherdtam,

    1. Kasetsart Agricultural and Agro-Industrial Product Improvement Institute, Kasetsart University, 50 Phaholyotin, Chatujak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Suchada Ujjin,

    1. Kasetsart Agricultural and Agro-Industrial Product Improvement Institute, Kasetsart University, 50 Phaholyotin, Chatujak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Klanarong Sriroth

    1. Kasetsart Agricultural and Agro-Industrial Product Improvement Institute, Kasetsart University, 50 Phaholyotin, Chatujak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Pineapple leaf fiber (PALF) was used as a reinforcement in polyolefins. Polypropylene (PP) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) composites with different fiber lengths (long and short fibers) and fiber contents (0–25%) were prepared and characterized. The results showed that the tensile strength of the composites increased when the PALF contents were increased. It was observed that the composites containing long fiber PALF were stronger than the short fiber composites as determined by greater tensile strength. An SEM study on the tensile fractured surface confirmed the homogeneous dispersion of the long fibers in the polymer matrixes better than dispersion of the short fibers. The unidirectional arrangement of the long fibers provided good interfacial bonding between the PALF and polymer which was a crucial factor in achieving high strength composites. Reduction in crystallinity of the composites, as evident from XRD and DSC studies suggested that the reinforcing effect of PALF played an important role in enhancing their mechanical strength. From the rule of mixtures, the stress efficiency factors of the composite strength could be calculated. The stress efficiency factors of LDPE were greater than those of PP. This would possibly explain why the high modulus fiber (PALF) had better load transfers to the ductile matrix of LDPE than the brittle matrix of PP. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011

Ancillary