Jump to Main Content
Mechanical Property Characterization of Plasticized Sugar Beet Pulp and Poly(Lactic Acid) Green Composites Using Acoustic Emission and Confocal Microscopy
- Finkenstadt, V. L., Liu, C.-K., Cooke, P. H., Liu, L. S., Willett, J. L.
- Journal of polymers and the environment 2008 v.16 no.1 pp. 19
- sugar beet pulp, composite polymers, lactic acid, plasticizers, sorbitol, glycerol, extrusion, mechanical properties, acoustic properties, microscopy, tensile strength, biodegradable products
- Sorbitol and glycerol were used to plasticize sugar beet pulp-poly(lactic acid) green composites. The plasticizer was incorporated into sugar beet pulp (SBP) at 0%, 10%, 20%, 30% and 40% w/w at low temperature and shear and then compounded with poly(lactic acid) (PLA) using twin-screw extrusion and injection molding. The SBP:PLA ratio was maintained at 30:70. As expected, tensile strength decreased by 25% and the elongation increased. Acoustic emission (AE) showed correlated debonding and fracture mechanisms for up to 20% w/w plasticizer and uncorrelated debonding and fracture for 30-40% sorbitol and 30% glycerol content in SBP-PLA composites. All samples had a well dispersed SBP phase with some aggregation in the PLA matrix. However, at 40% glycerol plasticized SBP-PLA composites exhibited unique AE behavior and confocal microscopy revealed the plasticized SBP and PLA formed a co-continuous two phase system.