Thermoset lactic acid-based resin as a matrix for flax fibers



Thermoset composites were produced from flax fibers and a novel lactic acid (LA)-based thermoset resin. This resin is based on methacrylated, star-shaped oligomers of LA. The main purpose of this work was to evaluate whether this resin can be used to produce structural composites from flax fibers. Composites were prepared by spray impregnation followed by compression molding at elevated temperature. The tests showed that composites can be produced with as much as 70 wt% fiber. The composites were evaluated by tensile testing, flexural testing, charpy impact test, dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA), and low-vacuum scanning electron microscopy. The ageing properties in high humid conditions were evaluated, the Young's modulus ranged from 3 GPa to 9 GPa in the best case. This work shows that structural composites can be produced from renewable material. It is clear from the results that these composites have properties that make them suitable for furniture, panels, or automotive parts. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011