Thermally Stable Pyrolytic Biocarbon as an Effective and Sustainable Reinforcing Filler for Polyamide Bio-composites Fabrication
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Natural fibers are limited in their use as reinforcement to commodity polymers. They cannot be used to reinforce engineering polymers due to their low thermal stability at high processing temperatures. This study presents an approach to successfully reinforce polyamides using a derivative of natural fibers as reinforcement without the effects of thermal degradation during melt processing. Biocarbon from miscanthus fibers was used to reinforce polyamide 6 up to 40 wt%. At 40 wt% filler content, the tensile and flexural strengths increased by 19.6 and 47% respectively in comparison to the neat polyamide. The moduli were also increased by 31.5 and 63.7% respectively. A maximum increase in impact strength of 43.7% was achieved at 20 wt% biocarbon loading. The morphology of the tensile fractured samples showed stretched polyamide ligaments attached to the biocarbon particles, indicating the presence of interaction between filler and matrix. Interestingly, more bonded interfaces were observed between the polyamide and biocarbon particles with increasing biocarbon content possibly stemming from increased biocarbon surfaces with functional groups. These composites show great potential to substitute in part or whole, some particulate filled polyamides currently used in the automotive industry.
KeywordsPolyamide Biocarbon Polymer composites Reinforcements Bio-composites
The authors acknowledge the financial support by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) – University of Guelph Product Development and Enhancement through Value Chains Research Theme (Project # 200399, 200388, 200245), The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Canada Discovery grant (Project # 400322) and Ontario Research Fund, Research Excellence Program; Round-7 (ORF-RE07) from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, currently known as the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science (MRIS) (Project # 052644 and # 052665).
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