Mechanical behaviour of a green composite from biopolymers reinforced with sisal fibres

de Castro, B. D., Fotouhi, M. , Vieira, L. M. G., de Faria, P. E. and Campos Rubio, J. C. (2021) Mechanical behaviour of a green composite from biopolymers reinforced with sisal fibres. Journal of Polymers and the Environment, 29(2), pp. 429-440. (doi: 10.1007/s10924-020-01875-9)

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In recent years, green composites based on thermoplastic matrices from renewable sources, and reinforced with natural fibres, have gained significant importance in different industrial applications, due to lower environmental impacts and production costs than traditional composites. This work investigates the manufacturing process, fibre/matrix integration and mechanical properties of a novel environmentally friendly green composite with a recyclable biobased polymer from a renewable source and a biodegradable natural fibre. Untreated woven sisal fibres reinforced post-consumer green polyethylene composites were evaluated in terms of flexural, tensile and impact properties. Traditional and green high-density polyethylene (HDPE), originated from sugarcane ethanol, were utilised as matrices of the investigated composites. Woven sisal fibres were arranged in two different stacking sequences, i.e. [0°/90°] and [± 45°], being incorporated into the HDPE with a mass percentage proportion of 30/70 (fibre/matrix). A low-cost manufacturing process based on the hot compression moulding was used to produce the composites. The results were analysed by a factorial design to identify the effects of polyethylene type and the use of woven sisal fibres, considering the [0°/90°] and [± 45°] orientations. Thermal gravimetric analysis was used to verify the thermal stability of the sisal fibre. The topographic surface of sisal fibres was observed by scanning electron microscopy. The results showed that the use of green polyethylene reinforced with untreated woven sisal fibres achieved higher flexural modulus (35%), flexural strength (13%), tensile strength (39%) and ultimate strain (68%) than traditional polyethylene without reinforcement. The green composite presented promising mechanical results to replace materials from non-renewable sources and can reduce manufacturing costs of the final product. These composite materials can be efficient for structural applications such as insulated panels, drywall and partitions for furniture.

Item Type:Articles (Editorial)
Additional Information:This study was financed in part by CAPES, “Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior”—Finance Code 001. The authors would also like to thank the Brazilian Research Agencies, CNPq and FAPEMIG, for the financial support provided.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fotouhi, Dr Mohammad
Authors: de Castro, B. D., Fotouhi, M., Vieira, L. M. G., de Faria, P. E., and Campos Rubio, J. C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Autonomous Systems and Connectivity
Journal Name:Journal of Polymers and the Environment
ISSN (Online):1572-8900
Published Online:19 September 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Springer Nature
First Published:First published in Journal of Polymers and the Environment 29(2): 429-440
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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