|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 8|
Due to increasing environmental pressure for biodegradable products, especially in polymeric materials, in order to meet the demands of the biological cycles of the circular economy, new materials have been developed as a sustainability strategy. This study proposes a composite material developed from the biodegradable polymer PLA Ecovio® (polylactic acid - PLA) with natural sisal fibers, where the soybean ester was used as a plasticizer, which can aid in adhesion between the materials and fibers, making the most attractive final composite from an environmental point of view. The composites were obtained by extrusion. The materials tests were produced and submitted to biodegradation tests. Through the biodegradation tests, it can be seen that the biodegradable polymer composition with 5% sisal fiber presented about 12.4% more biodegradability compared to the polymer without fiber addition. It has also been found that the plasticizer was not a compatible with fibers and the polymer. Finally, fibers help to anticipate the decomposition process of the material when subjected to conditions of a landfill. Therefore, its intrinsic properties are not affected during its use, only the biodegradation process begins after its exposure to landfill conditions.
Shell wastes represent a considerable quantity of byproducts in the shellfish aquaculture. From the viewpoint of ecofriendly and economical disposal, it is highly desirable to convert these residues into high value-added products for industrial applications. So far, the utilization of shell wastes was confined at relatively lower levels, e.g. wastewater decontaminant, soil conditioner, fertilizer constituent, feed additive and liming agent. Shell wastes consist of calcium carbonate and organic matrices, with the former accounting for 95-99% by weight. Being the richest source of biogenic CaCO3, shell wastes are suitable to prepare high purity CaCO3 powders, which have been extensively applied in various industrial products, such as paper, rubber, paints and pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, the shell waste could be further processed to be the filler of polymer composites. This paper presents a study on the potential use of mussel shell waste as biofiller to produce the composite materials with different epoxy matrices, such as bisphenol-A type, CTBN modified and polyurethane modified epoxy resins. Morphology and mechanical properties of shell particles reinforced epoxy composites were evaluated to assess the possibility of using it as a new material. The effects of shell particle content on the mechanical properties of the composites were investigated. It was shown that in all composites, the tensile strength and Young’s modulus values increase with the increase of mussel shell particles content from 10 wt% to 50 wt%, while the elongation at break decreased, compared to pure epoxy resin. The highest Young’s modulus values were determined for bisphenol-A type epoxy composites.