Characteristics of starch-based biodegradable composites reinforced with date palm and flax fibers

Funding Sponsor

American University in Cairo

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering Department

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Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Carbohydrate Polymers

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The aim of this work is to study the behavior of completely biodegradable starch-based composites containing date palm fibers in the range from 20 to 80 wt%. Hybrid composites containing date palm and flax fibers, 25 wt% each, were also examined. The composites were preheated and then hot pressed at 5 MPa and 160°C for 30 min. SEM investigation showed strong adhesion between fibers and matrix. Density measurements showed very small void fraction (less than 0.142%) for composites containing up to 50 wt% fiber content. Increasing fiber weight fraction up to 50 wt% increased the composite static tensile and flexural mechanical properties (stiffness and strength). Composite thermal stability, water uptake and biodegradation improved with increasing fiber content. The present work shows that starch-based composites with 50 wt% fibers content have the optimum mechanical properties. The hybrid composite of flax and date palm fibers, 25 wt% each, has good properties and provides a competitive eco-friendly candidate for various applications. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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