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Effect of surface treatment of microfiberlated cellulose fibers on biocomposite properties and additive manufacturing process...

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Journal Name
CAMX Conference Proceedings
Book Title
CAMX Proceedings 2019
Publication Date
Publisher Location
California, United States of America
Conference Name
CAMX 2019 – The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo
Conference Location
Anaheim, California, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Composites One, Dixie Chemical, Jushi, Owens Corning
Conference Date

Polymer additive manufacturing (AM) is a rapidly growing technology and it is transitioning to become an advanced manufacturing technique with the introduction of fiberlar reinforcing materials such as carbon and glass fibers into polymer feedstock. As a result of increasing environmental and long-term sustainability concerns, there is an increasing interest in using bio-derived cellulose fibers to reinforce composites instead of carbon and glass fibers. Melt extrusion/fused filament fabrication method is the most commonly used polymer AM technique which enables direct digital manufacturing of parts with complex geometry with a controlled anisotropic distribution of reinforcing phase. However, there are multiple factors that affect the mechanical performance of the final part such as the dispersion and orientation of the reinforcing fibers, the adhesion between the fibers and the polymer matrix, and the porosity/defects present in the part. Chemical modification of the surface of the reinforcing fibers is an effective way of improving the fiber-polymer interaction. Furthermore, the improved adhesion between the fibers and the polymer can also enhance the fiber dispersion, improve the rheological behavior of the molten feedstock and minimize the formation of porosity during the printing process, which is one of the major issues in AM. In this study, we are investigating the effect of silane surface treatment of micro-cellulose fibers on the thermal, rheological and mechanical properties of cellulose-PLA biocomposites and on the 3D-printing process. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results confirmed the increase in amine and silane groups on the surface of modified fibers, indicating successful functionalization. Thermal and mechanical characterization of modified fiber-PLA composites showed significant increases in storage modulus, glass transition temperature, and complex viscosity compared to neat PLA.