MSA  Vol.9 No.2 , February 2018
Preparation and Characterization of Raw and Chemically Modified Sponge-Gourd Fiber Reinforced Polylactic Acid Biocomposites
Abstract: This research work has been undertaken to fabricate environmentally friendly biocomposites for biomedical and household applications. Sponge-gourd fibers (SGF) obtained from Luffa cylindrica plant were chemically treated separately using 5 and 10 wt% NaOH, acetic anhydride and benzoyl chloride solutions. SGF reinforced polylactic acid (PLA) biocomposites were fabricated using melt compounding technique. Surface morphological, structural, mechanical and thermal properties, as well as antibacterial activities of raw and chemically modified SGF reinforced PLA (SGF-PLA) composites were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectrometry, X-ray diffractometry, universal testing method, thermogravimetry, and Kirby-Bauer agar diffusion method, respectively. Surface morphology indicates that after treatment of fibers, the interfacial adhesion between PLA and fibers is improved. X-ray diffractometry result shows that chemical treatment of fibers improves the crystallinity and exhibits new chemical bond formation in the composites. After chemical treatment, compressive strength of the composites is found to increase by 10% - 35%. The thermal stability of the treated fiber reinforced composites is also found to increase significantly. The composites have no antibacterial activities and no cytotoxic effect on non-cancer cell line. Soil burial test has confirmed that the composites are biodegradable. Benzoyl chloride treatment of fibers shows superior mechanical properties and enhances thermal stability among the composites.
Cite this paper: Al-Mobarak, T., Gafur, M. and Mina, M. (2018) Preparation and Characterization of Raw and Chemically Modified Sponge-Gourd Fiber Reinforced Polylactic Acid Biocomposites. Materials Sciences and Applications, 9, 281-304. doi: 10.4236/msa.2018.92019.

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