Fully bio-based and biodegradable composites were compression molded from unidirectionally aligned sisal fiber bundles and a polylactide polymer matrix (PLLA). Caustic soda treatment was employed to modify the strength of sisal fibers and to improve fiber to matrix adhesion. Mechanical properties of PLLA/sisal fiber composites improved with caustic soda treatment: the mean flexural strength and modulus increased from 279 MPa and 19.4 GPa respectively to 286 MPa and 22 GPa at a fiber volume fraction of V=0.6. The glass transition temperature decreased with increasing fiber content in composites reinforced with untreated sisal fibers due to interfacial friction. The damping at the caustic soda-treated fibers-PLLA interface was reduced due to the presence of transcrystalline morphology at the fiber to matrix interface. It was demonstrated that high strength, high modulus sisal-PLLA composites can be produced with effective stress transfer at well-bonded fiber to matrix interfaces.
Prajer, M., & Ansell, M. P. (2014). Bio-composites for structural applications: Poly-l-lactide reinforced with long sisal fiber bundles. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 131(21). https://doi.org/10.1002/app.40999