Seawater ageing of flax/poly(lactic acid) biocomposites

Type Article
Date 2009-07
Language English
Author(s) Le Duigou A.2, Davies PeterORCID1, Baley C.2
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, Mat & Struct Grp, Ctr Brest, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
2 : Equipe Polymeres & Composites, LIMATB Lab Ingn Mat Bretagne, F-56321 Lorient, France.
Source Polymer Degradation and Stability (0141-3910) (Elsevier), 2009-07 , Vol. 94 , N. 7 , P. 1151-1162
DOI 10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2009.03.025
WOS© Times Cited 152
Keyword(s) Mechanical properties, Hygrothermal ageing, Biopolymer, Natural fibre, Composites
Abstract Natural fibre reinforced biopolymer composites, or biocomposites, are an alternative to the glass fibre reinforced thermoset composites widely used today in marine applications. Biocomposites offer good mechanical properties and total biodegradability, but if they are to be adopted for marine structures their durability in a seawater environment must be demonstrated. In the present study unreinforced PLLA (Poly(L-Lactic acid)), injected and film stacked flax composites with the same PLLA matrix have been examined. All the samples were aged in natural seawater at different temperatures in order to accelerate hygrothermal ageing. Changes to physico-chemical and mechanical behaviour have been followed by weight measurements, thermal and gel permeation chromatography (GPC) analyses, and tensile testing, completed by acoustic emission recording and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examination. The matrix tensile stiffness is hardly affected by seawater at temperatures to 40 degrees C but the composite loses stiffness and strength. Fibre/matrix interface weakening is the main damage mechanism induced by wet ageing, but both matrix and fibre cracks also appear at longer periods. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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