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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 4046862, 14 pages
Research Article

Using Factorial Design Methodology to Assess PLA-g-Ma and Henequen Microfibrillated Cellulose Content on the Mechanical Properties of Poly(lactic acid) Composites

1Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán, A.C. (CICY), Unidad de Materiales, Calle 43 # 130, Col. Chuburná de Hidalgo, 97200 Mérida, YUC, Mexico
2MTA–BME Research Group for Composite Science and Technology, Muegyetem rkp. 3, Budapest 1111, Hungary
3Department of Polymer Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Muegyetem rkp. 3, Budapest 1111, Hungary

Correspondence should be addressed to A. Valadez-Gonzalez

Received 8 January 2017; Accepted 26 March 2017; Published 30 April 2017

Academic Editor: Antje Potthast

Copyright © 2017 M. Dzul-Cervantes 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, a 22 factorial design was used to study the effect of microfibrillated henequen cellulose fibers (HENCEL) and PLA-g-MA coupling agent contents on the tensile, flexural, and impact mechanical properties and the heat deflection temperature (HDT) of biodegradable PLA composites. The results show that the principal effects of HENCEL and MA are statistically significant for the tensile, flexural, HDT, and impact strength properties of PLA composites. Regarding the interactions between the principle effects, MA-HENCEL, there are differences with respect to the mechanical property; for example, for tensile and flexural mechanical properties, there is a synergistic effect between MA and HENCEL, whereas for HDT and impact strength there is not any. The micromechanical analysis shows an excellent agreement between the measured and the estimated values for both the composite tensile strength and the elastic modulus and only slight deviations were noticed for high microfibrillated cellulose fibers content. The morphological analysis via SEM indicated that the addition of PLA-g-MA improved the fiber-matrix adhesion because of the HENCEL unbounding and pull-out decreases from the PLA matrix. The use of appropriate values of matrix strength and stiffness and considering the improved fiber-matrix adhesion of the coupling agent yield a good agreement between experimental and estimated values.