Effect of fiber load and compatibilization on biodegradation of poly(ε-caprolactone)/poly(lactic acid) composites

Ibrahim Noel Akos, Gideon Wyasu and Zakari Ladan

Accepted 28 June, 2014.

Citation: Akos NI, Wyasu G, Ladan Z (2014). Effect of fiber load and compatibilization on biodegradation of poly(E-caprolactone)/poly(lactic acid) composites. International Research Journal of Materials Science and Engineering 1(1): 002-011. 

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Copyright: © 2014 Akos et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Abstract

Novel poly (ε-caprolactone)/poly(lactic acid), (PCL/PLA, ratio 90:10) blend composites were prepared with mercerized palm press fibers by melt extrusion and injection molding. The normal soil burial method was used to study the composites biodegradation. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) was employed to study the crystallinity of the blend composites while Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) confirmed the glass transition temperature of the composites. Compatibilization using dicumyl peroxide (DCP, 0.01phr) and fiber reinforcement accelerated the rate of biodegradation of the blend composites. The rate of biodegradation increased as fiber load increased from 10 wt% to 25 wt% in the composites. This was confirmed by the residual weights of the composites over the 90 days burial period. The DSC and XRD results showed that compatibilization reduced the melting temperature and crystallinity of the blends respectively. The DMA results confirmed the Tg of the blends composites to be around -62 oC. However, incorporating fibers from 10 wt% to 20 wt% enhanced the crystallinity of the compatibilized blend composites.

Keywords: PCL/PLA blends, PCL/PLA composites, biodegradation, crystallinity, palm press fibers