Effect of silk fiber to the mechanical and thermal properties of its biodegradable composites

Ho, Mei-Po and Wang, Hao and Lau, Kin-Tak and Leng, Jinsong (2013) Effect of silk fiber to the mechanical and thermal properties of its biodegradable composites. Journal of Applied Polymer Science , 127 (4). pp. 2389-2396. ISSN 0021-8995


In recent years, natural fiber-reinforced biodegradable thermoplastics are being recognized as an emerging new environmentally friendly material for industrial, commercial, and biomedical applications. Among different types of natural fibers, silk fiber is a common type of animal-based fiber, has been used for biomedical engineering and surgical operation applications for many years because of its biocompatible and bioresorbable properties. On the basis of our previous study, a novel biodegradable biocomposite for biomedical applications was developed by mixing chopped silk fiber and polylactic acid (PLA) through the injection molding process.
This article is aimed at studying the dynamic mechanical and thermal properties of the composite in relation to its biodegradation effect. At the beginning, it was found that the initial storage modulus of a silk fiber/PLA composite increased while its glass transition temperature decreased as compared with a pristine PLA sample. Besides, the coefficient of linear thermal expansions (CLTE) of the composite was reduced by 28%. This phenomenon was attributed to the fiber–matrix interaction that restricted the mobility of polymer chains adhered to the fiber surface, and consequently reduced the Tg and CLTE. It was found that the degraded composite exhibited lower initial storage modulus, loss modulus and tan delta (tan d) but the Tg was higher than the silk fiber/PLA composite. This result was mainly due to the increase of crystallinity of the composite during its degradation process.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Published online 14 May 2012. Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2012 23:41
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2017 07:20
Uncontrolled Keywords: composites; fibers; thermodynamics
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0903 Biomedical Engineering > 090302 Biomechanical Engineering
09 Engineering > 0903 Biomedical Engineering > 090301 Biomaterials
09 Engineering > 0912 Materials Engineering > 091209 Polymers and Plastics
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1002/app.37539
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/21551

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