Factors Affecting Mechanical Properties of Reinforced Bioplastics: A Review
The short life cycle and recalcitrant nature of petroleum-based plastics have been associated with plastic waste accumulation due to their composition rather than worldwide overproduction. The drive to replace single-use products has sparked a considerable amount of research work to discover sustainable options for petroleum-based plastics. Bioplastics open up a new horizon in plastics manufacturing operations and industrial sectors because of their low environmental impact, superior biodegradability, and contribution to sustainable goals. Their mechanical properties regarding tensile, flexural, hardness, and impact strength vary substantially. Various attempts have been made to augment their mechanical characteristics and capacities by incorporating reinforcement materials, such as inorganic and lignocellulosic fibres. This review summarizes the research on the properties of bioplastics modified by fibre reinforcement, with a focus on mechanical performance. The mechanical properties of reinforced bioplastics are significantly driven by parameters such as filler type, filler percentage, and aspect ratio. Fibre treatment aims to promote fibre&ndash;matrix adhesion by changing their physical, chemical, thermal, and mechanical properties. A general overview of how different filler treatments affect the mechanical properties of the composite is also presented. Lastly, the application of natural fibre-reinforced bioplastics in the automobile, construction, and packaging industries is discussed.