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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 2178329, 8 pages
Research Article

Mechanical and Thermal Properties of PLA Biocomposites Reinforced by Coir Fibers

Harbin University of Commerce, Harbin 150028, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Zhihui Sun

Received 1 December 2016; Revised 12 April 2017; Accepted 3 May 2017; Published 10 July 2017

Academic Editor: Vitor Sencadas

Copyright © 2017 Zhihui Sun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this work, polylactic acid (PLA) biocomposites reinforced with short coir fibers were fabricated using a corotating twin-screw extruder and injection molding machine. Short coir fibers were treated by mixed solution including hydrogen peroxide and sodium hydroxide to improve the adhesion between fibers and PLA matrix. The effects of treated coir fiber content (1, 3, 5, and 7 wt%) on tensile, impact, thermal properties, and surface morphology of PLA biocomposites were investigated. The best impact strength results were obtained for 3 wt% PLA/treated coir fiber biocomposites, where the impact strength was increased by approximately 28% compared to the neat PLA. The tensile modulus of PLA biocomposites was increased by increasing the treated coir fiber content. These results were confirmed by morphological structure analysis. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) results demonstrated a minor effect of the treated coir fiber on thermal behavior of PLA resin. Thermogravimetry analysis (TGA) demonstrated that the thermal stability of the PLA/treated coir fiber biocomposites was reduced by the incorporation of treated coir fiber.