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  • 1 Laboratory of Adhesion and Bio-Composites, Program in Environmental Materials Science, Seoul National University, Seoul 151–921, Republic of Korea
  • 2 Research Team for Biomass-Based Bio-Materials, Research Institute for Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151–921, Republic of Korea
  • 3 Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Agro-Industry, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
  • 4 Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO, 80401–1887, USA
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Abstract

The research focused on enhancing the mechanical properties and thermal stability of bio-composites with natural flours and improving the interfacial adhesion between biodegradable polymer and flour. The tensile and flexural strength of the PLA bio-composites decreased with increasing flour addition. However, a 3% loading of the compatibilizer in the PLA bio-composite increased this strength up to that observed with the 10% loading flour. The degradation temperature of PLA was decreased by the flour but destarched cassava flour had higher thermal stability on account of its higher lignin content than pineapple flour. This means that the PLA bio-composites with destarched cassava flour had higher thermal stability than those with the pineapple flour. In addition, the thermal degradation temperature was increased by adding MAPLA. The compatibilizer improved the crystallinity of PLA, which enhanced the mechanical strength of the PLA bio-composites. As the pineapple flour and destarched cassava flour 30% loading was increased, the HDT of the PLA bio-composites increased from 56.8 °C to ~66.3 and 69.7 °C, respectively. The thermal aging test showed no reduction in strength of the neat PLA. However, the PLA bio-composites showed a gradual decrease in tensile strength with increasing number of cycles. Moreover, the shrinkage ratio of the neat PLA was 5% of that found with the PLA resin.

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