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Comprehensive characterization of raw and treated pineapple leaf fiber/polylactic acid green composites manufactured by 3D printing technique

The aim of this study is to develop a completely sustainable, biodegradable, eco?friendly and green composite material for packaging of food and medical products by an additive manufacturing technique such as 3D printing. This report presents the mechanical, crystalline, chemical bonding and thermal characteristics of a novel pineapple leaf fiber (PALF) reinforcing polylactic acid (PLA) green composite manufactured by 3D printing technique. Both powdered raw and alkali?treated PALFs were respectively mixed with PLA and extruded as filaments for 3D printing into composite test specimens. The characterization study reveals that the 3D printed composite with 3 wt% (alkali?treated) PALF reinforcement exhibited maximum tensile and flexural characteristics. The density of the 3D printed composite specimens increased with increase in wt% of PALF. On the other hand, the 3D printed composite specimens blended with raw PALF showed enhanced elongation at break compared to alkali?treated PALF reinforced composite specimens. The microstructural images of the 3D printed composite specimens confirms the existence of impurities, voids and fiber degradation phenomenon. The Fourier transform infrared spectra revealed the chemical bonding nature of the 3D printed composite specimens. The X?Ray diffraction was used to calculate the crystalline size and crystallinity index. Thermogravimetric analysis reveals that the 3D printed composite specimen possessed adequate thermal stability for use in packaging applications.

Publication date: 21/07/2022

Polymer Composites


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.