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ISSN 1511-3701

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Reinforcing Mechanical, Water Absorption and Barrier Properties of Poly(Lactic Acid) Composites with Kenaf-Derived Cellulose of Thermally-Grafted Aminosilane

Tee, Y. B., Rosnita, A. T., Khalina, A., Chin, N. L., Roseliza, K. B., and Khairul Faezah, M. Y.

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 38, Issue 4, November 2015

Keywords: Cellulose, kenaf, mechanical barrier, poly(lactic acid), silane coupling agent, water absorption

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The effects of filling poly (lactic acid) (PLA) composites with cellulose thermally-grafted with hydrolysed 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APS) were investigated. Composites containing 30 wt% of kenaf-derived cellulose (C) and silane-grafted cellulose (SGC) were melt-blended into a PLA matrix before being hot-pressed into 0.3 mm sheets. The tensile strength of neat PLA was 47 MPa. With addition of C and SGC, the tensile strength was improved by 13% and 23%, respectively. The tensile modulus was approximately doubled for both of the composites. PLA/C and PLA/SGC composites remained brittle with marginally lowered elongation at break. The addition of C and SGC significantly increased the oxygen barrier of PLA with the reduction of oxygen transmission rate (OTR) of PLA at 76.6 cc/m2/day to 42.2 cc/m2/day and 40.3 cc/m /day, respectively. This was due to the tortuous path created and crystallites induced by the fillers. The water vapour transmission rate (WVTR) for PLA, PLA/C and PLA/SGC was in the range of 21-23 g/m2/ day. From the water absorption test, PLA/SGC reported slightly better water resistance as compared to PLA/C. The reinforcing results from these bio-based materials may suggest contribution towards packaging oxygen and moisture sensitive food.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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