Characterisation of natural fibre reinforced PLA foams prepared by supercritical CO 2 assisted extrusion

Abstract : Natural fibre reinforced polylactic acid (PLA) foams, as potential green replacements for petroleum-based polymer foams, were investigated. Highly porous (ε > 95%) microcellular PLA foams were manufactured by supercritical CO 2 assisted extrusion process. To overcome the inherent low melt strength of PLA, epoxy-functionalized chain extender was applied, while talc was added to improve its crystallization kinetics. The combined application of chain extender and talc effectively promoted the formation of uniform cell structures. The effect of cellulose and basalt fibre reinforcement on the foamability, morphology, structure and mechanical properties of the PLA foams were investigated as well. The addition of 5 wt% natural fibres promoted the cell nucleation, but caused non-uniform distribution of cell size due to the microholes induced by local fibre-matrix debonding. The compression strength of the manufactured basalt fibre reinforced PLA foams reached 40 kPa.
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Katalin Bocz, T Tábi, D Vadas, Martial Sauceau, Jacques Fages, et al.. Characterisation of natural fibre reinforced PLA foams prepared by supercritical CO 2 assisted extrusion. Express Polymer Letters, BME-PT Hungary, 2016, 10 (9), pp.771-779. ⟨www.expresspolymlett.com⟩. ⟨10.3144/expresspolymlett.2016.71⟩. ⟨hal-01341088v3⟩

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