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Morphology and properties of polystyrene/agave fiber composites and foams



In this work, agave fibers were blended with polystyrene to produce foamed and unfoamed composites. The effect of fiber size and density reduction on the morphological, thermal, mechanical, and rheological properties, as well as crystallinity and water absorption kinetics of the composites was assessed. The results show that Young's modulus and tensile strength increased with increasing fiber content, but decreased with density reduction. Increasing fiber content and decreasing the size of the fibers both increased crystallinity of the composites. Finally, water uptake and diffusion coefficient were found to increase with increasing fiber content for all sizes. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013