Islam, M.S., Pickering, K.L. & Foreman, N.J. (2010). Influence of hygrothermal ageing on the physico-mechanical properties of alkali treated industrial hemp fibre reinforced polylactic acid composites. Journal of Polymers and the Environment, 18(4), 696-704.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5057
30 wt% aligned untreated long hemp fibre/polylactic acid (AUL) and aligned alkali treated long hemp fibre/polylactic acid (AAL) composites were produced by film stacking and subjected to hygrothermal ageing environment along with neat polylactic acid (PLA). Hygrothermal ageing was carried out by immersing samples in distilled water at 25 and 50 ºC over a period of 3 months. It was found that both neat PLA and composites followed Fickian diffusion. Higher temperature generally increased the Diffusion coefficient, D of neat PLA and composites, as well as shortening the saturation time. Neat PLA had the lowest D value followed by AAL composites and then AUL composites. After hygrothermal ageing, tensile and flexural strength, Young’s and flexural modulus and KIc were found to decrease and impact strength was found to increase for both AUL and AAL composites. AUL composites had greater overall reduction in mechanical properties than that for AAL composites after hygrothermal ageing. Crystallinity contents of the hygrothermal aged composites support the results of the deterioration of mechanical properties upon exposure to hygrothermal ageing environment.