Evaluation of the Interface Strength in the Abaca-Fiber-Reinforced Bio-Polyethylene Composites

Bio-based polymers, with any of their constituents based on nonrenewable sources, can answer the demands of society and regulations regarding minimizing the environmental impact. The more similar such biocomposites are to oil-based composites, the easier the transition, especially for companies that do not like the uncertainty. A BioPE matrix, with a structure similar to that of a high-density polyethylene (HDPE), was used to obtain abaca-fiber-reinforced composites. The tensile properties of these composites are displayed and compared with commercial glass-fiber-reinforced HDPE. Since the strength of the interface between the reinforcements and the matrix is responsible for the exploitation of the strengthening abilities of the reinforcements, several micromechanical models were used to obtain an estimation of the strength of the interface and the intrinsic tensile strength of the reinforcements. Biocomposites require the use of a coupling agent to strengthen their interface, and once an 8 wt.% of such coupling agent was added to the composites, these materials returned tensile properties in line with commercial glass-fiber-reinforced HDPE composites ​
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