Properties of agave fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites

Li, Peng
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Research Projects
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Mechanical Engineering
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Biocomposites have attracted a great deal of interest in research and industry sectors because they are typically lightweight, sustainable, environmentally friendly, and their thermomechanical properties can be designed to fit specific applications by tuning of their composition. In this study, mechanical properties of natural-fiber reinforced thermoplastic composite films were explored. Thermoplastic resins (linear low-density polyethylene, high-density polyethylene, and polypropylene) reinforced with various ratios of agave fibers were prepared and characterized in terms of mechanical, thermal, and chemical properties as well as their morphology. The morphological properties of agave fibers and films were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy was used to analyze variations in chemical interactions between the filler and matrix materials. No significant chemical interaction between the filler and matrix was observed. While addition of natural fillers did not affect the thermal properties of the composite materials, elastic modulus and yielding stress were generally proportional to fiber content. The level of the effect on yield stress and modulus of the fibers varied over the range of the different matrix materials.

agave fiber, biocomposites, high-density polyethylene, linear low-density polyethylene, mechanical properties, polypropylene