Influence of giant reed (Arundo donax L.) culms processing procedure on physicochemical, rheological, and thermomechanical properties of polyethylene composite

Luis Suarez *, Paul R. Hanna, Zaida Ortega*, Mateusz Barczewski, Paulina Kosmela, Bronagh Millar, Eoin Cunningham

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Giant reed (Arundo donax L.) is a plant species with a high growth rate and low requirements, which makes it particularly interesting for the production of different bioproducts, including natural fibers. This work assesses the use of fibers obtained from reed culms as reinforcement for a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) matrix. Two different lignocellulosic materials were used: i) shredded culms and ii) fibers obtained by culms processing, which have not been reported yet in literature as fillers for thermoplastic materials. A good stress transfer for the fibrous composites was observed, with significant increases in mechanical properties; composites with 20% fiber provided a tensile elastic modulus of almost 1900 MPa (78% increase versus neat HDPE) and a flexural one of 1500 MPa (100% increase), with an improvement of 15% in impact strength. On the other hand, composites with 20% shredded biomass increased by 50% the tensile elastic modulus (reaching 1560 MPa) and the flexural one (up to 1500 MPa), without significant changes in impact strength. The type of filler is more than its ratio; composites containing fibers resulted in a higher performance than the ones with shredded materials due to the higher aspect ratio of fiber
Original languageEnglish
Article number2296909
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Natural Fibers
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 05 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Arundo donax; giant reed; biomass; fibers; composites; HDPE; characterization; injection molding

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