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Processing and thermal properties of composites based on recycled PET, sisal fibers, and renewable plasticizers

Authors

  • Rachel Passos de Oliveira Santos,

    1. Macromolecular Materials and Lignocellulosic Fibers Group, Center for Science and Technology of BioResources, Institute of Chemistry of São Carlos, University of São Paulo, São Carlos, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Daniele Oliveira Castro,

    1. Macromolecular Materials and Lignocellulosic Fibers Group, Center for Science and Technology of BioResources, Institute of Chemistry of São Carlos, University of São Paulo, São Carlos, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Adhemar Collà Ruvolo-Filho,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Materials Engineering, Federal University of São Carlos, São Carlos, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Elisabete Frollini

    Corresponding author
    1. Macromolecular Materials and Lignocellulosic Fibers Group, Center for Science and Technology of BioResources, Institute of Chemistry of São Carlos, University of São Paulo, São Carlos, São Paulo, Brazil
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ABSTRACT

This investigation focuses on the preparation of bio-based composites from recycled poly (ethylene terephthalate) (PET) and sisal fibers (3 cm, 15 wt %), via thermopressing process. Plasticizers derived from renewable raw materials are used, namely, glycerol, tributyl citrate (TBC) and castor oil (CO), to decrease the melting point of the recycled PET (Tm ∼ 265°C), which is sufficiently high to initiate the thermal decomposition of the lignocellulosic fiber. All used materials are characterized by thermogravimetric analysis and differential scanning calorimetry, and the composites are also characterized via dynamic mechanical thermal analysis. The storage modulus (30°C) and the tan δ peak values of CT [PET/sisal/TBC] indicate that TBC also acts as a compatibilizing agent at the interface fiber/PET, as well as a plasticizer. To compare different processing methods, rheometry/thermopressing and compression molding are used to prepare the recycled PET/sisal/glycerol/CO composites. These two different methods of processing show no significant influence on the thermal properties of these composites. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 40386.

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