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Reixach, R., Puig, J., Méndez, J. A., Gironès, J., Espinach, F. X., Arbat, G., and Mutjé, P. (2015). "Orange wood fiber reinforced polypropylene composites: Thermal properties," BioRes. 10(2), 2156-2166.


A major drawback of natural-based composites is the incorporation of reinforcements that are less thermally stable than the matrix; therefore, the thermal properties of the resultant composite material needs to be studied. In this work, orange wood fibers were used to reinforce polypropylene. The effects on the thermal properties of the polymeric matrix were analyzed. To this end, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetry (TGA), thermomechanical analysis (TMA), and dynamic-mechanical analysis (DMA) were performed. It was found that the degradation of the material took place in two distinct phases: the reinforcement, close to 250 °C, and the matrix, above 340 °C. DSC results showed that fiber reinforcement did not influence the transition temperatures of the materials, although it did affect the polymer crystallinity value, increasing by 7% when the composite is reinforced with 50% of the lignocellulosic reinforcement. The coefficient of expansion obtained by TMA indicated that thermal expansion decreased as the amount of reinforcement increased. DMA assays showed that the reinforcement did not modify the glass transition (20 to 25 °C) temperature and confirmed that the addition of reinforcement increased the crystallinity of the product.
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