Preparation and properties of cellulose/Thespesia lampas microfiber composite films.

Affiliation

Department of Physics, Osmania University College of Engineering, Hyderabad, India. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

The fibers from the newly identified plant Thespesia lampas (TL) were converted into microfibers in order to increase their aspect ratio. The TL microfibers (TLMFs) were used as reinforcement (1 wt. to 5 wt%) in cellulose matrix to prepare cellulose /TLMFs composite films. These composite films were characterized by polarized optical microscopy (POM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and tensile tests. The POM and SEM images indicated the uniform distribution of TLMFs but in random orientation in the composites. FTIR spectral analysis indicated the presence of minor quantity of lignin in the microfibers in spite of chemical treatment of fibers. The XRD analysis indicated higher crystallinity index for the composites than the matrix. Thermal stability of the composite films was slightly higher than the matrix. Tensile modulus and tensile strength were lower while the elongation at break of the composite films was higher than those of the cellulose matrix due to random orientation of the TLMFs in the composites. However the tensile properties and thermal stability of the cellulose/TLMFs composites were found to be higher than those of the cellulose/alkali treated TL fiber composites and hence can be considered for packaging applications.

Keywords

Composites,Micro fibers,Tensile properties,Thermal stability,Thespesia lampas,

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