Development of biocomposites from lactic acid thermoset resins and cellulose fibre reinforcements

Sammanfattning: Synthesis of polymers from renewable origin has been reported by many authors and it has been found out that it has enormous potential and can serve as alternative to conventional thermoplastics and thermosets in many applications. The use of these renewable resources will provide sustainable platforms to substitute fossil fuel-based materials. To date, efforts made to produce 100% bio-based thermosetting materials have yet to be achieved. Many studies have been reported on increasing the renewability ratio of thermoset materials produced.A lot of reports have been made on the synthesis of thermoplastic resins from lactic acid for biomedical applications such as tissue engineering but only few reports have been made on composite applications. The issue of high melt viscosity of thermoplastic resins from lactic acid has been of paramount problem because of its difficulty in impregnation into fibre reinforcement. Bio-based thermoset resins have been produced for composite applications from plant oils and improved mechanical properties have been achieved.In this thesis, an alternative route for synthesis of lactic acid based thermoset resins have been explored to solve the above problem. Thermoset resins were synthesized from lactic acid with different co-reactants and were characterized using NMR, FT-IR, DSC, DMA and TGA. Their rheological properties were also investigated. The resins were reinforced with natural and regenerated cellulose fibres in non-woven and woven form, and with different fibre alignment and fibre loading. The resulting composites were characterized by mechanical testing regarding tensile, flexural and impact strength, and by SEM analysis regarding morphology.The results showed that these composites could possibly be used in automobile, transport, construction and furniture applications, particularly for interior purposes. The resins produced were found to be promising materials for composite production due to the good mechanical properties achieved.