Authors: A. Awal1, S. Ghosh1, and M. Sain1
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  • 1 University of Toronto Center for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing, Faculty of Forestry 33 Willcocks St Toronto ON M5S 3B3 Canada
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Abstract

Bio-composite fibers were developed from wood pulp and polypropylene (PP) by an extrusion process. The thermo-physical and mechanical properties of wood pulp-PP composite fibers, neat PP and wood pulp were studied using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). The thermal stability of bio-composite fibers was found to be significantly higher than pure wood pulp. An understanding into the melting behaviour of the composite system was obtained which would assist in selecting a suitable temperature profile for the extruder during processing. The visco-elastic properties of bio-composite fibers were also revealed from the study. The generated bio-composite fibers were also characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) to understand the nature of chemical interaction between wood pulp reinforcement and PP matrix. The use of maleated polypropylene (MAPP) as a compatibilizer was investigated in relation to the fiber microstructure. Changes in absorption peaks were observed in FTIR spectra of bio-composite fibers as compared to the pure wood pulp which indicated possible chemical linkages between the fiber and polymer matrix.

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