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Molecules ; 26(15)2021 Jul 29.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34361733


Biocomposites comprising a combination of natural fibres and bio-based polymers are good alternatives to those produced from synthetic components in terms of sustainability and environmental issues. However, it is well known that water or aqueous chemical solutions affect natural polymers/fibres more than the respective synthetic components. In this study the effects of water, salt water, acidic and alkali solutions ageing on water uptake, mechanical properties and flammability of natural fibre-reinforced polypropylene (PP) and poly(lactic acid) (PLA) composites were compared. Jute, sisal and wool fibre- reinforced PP and PLA composites were prepared using a novel, patented nonwoven technology followed by the hot press method. The prepared composites were aged in water and chemical solutions for up to 3 week periods. Water absorption, flexural properties and the thermal and flammability performances of the composites were investigated before and after ageing each process. The effect of post-ageing drying on the retention of mechanical and flammability properties has also been studied. A linear relationship between irreversible flexural modulus reduction and water adsorption/desorption was observed. The aqueous chemical solutions caused further but minor effects in terms of moisture sorption and flexural modulus changes. PLA composites were affected more than the respective PP composites, because of their hydrolytic sensitivity. From thermal analytical results, these changes in PP composites could be attributed to ageing effects on fibres, whereas in PLA composite changes related to both those of fibres present and of the polymer. Ageing however, had no adverse effect on the flammability of the composites.

Materiais Biocompatíveis/química , Retardadores de Chama/análise , Fibras Minerais/análise , Poliésteres/química , Polipropilenos/química , Água/química , Materiais Biocompatíveis/análise , Fibra de Algodão/análise , Temperatura Alta , Humanos , Teste de Materiais , Poliésteres/análise , Polipropilenos/análise , Soluções , Fibra de Lã/análise
Polymers (Basel) ; 12(11)2020 Oct 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33114010


This study is based on previously reported reaction to fire properties of flax fibre-reinforced polymeric (polypropylene, PP and polylactic acid, PLA) composites, prepared by pre-treating the fabrics with different fire retardants (FRs) prior to composite preparation. It was observed that while all of these treatments were very effective in flax/PLA in terms of achieving a V-0 rating in a UL-94 test, only an organophosphonate FR was capable of achieving a V-0 rating for flax/PP. However, all fire-retardant treatments impaired the mechanical properties of the composites; the reduction was more in flax/PLA compared to flax/PP composites. To understand these effects further, here thermal analysis and pyrolysis combustion flow calorimetry of the composites and each component separately treated with FRs have been conducted and the results analysed in terms of the effect on each component so as to observe any interaction between the different components. The results indicated that in flax/PLA composites, the water released during FR catalysed dehydration-decomposition of flax may hydrolyse PLA, changing decomposition pathway of PLA to produce less flammable volatile, hence resulting in reduced flammability.