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Enhancing the mechanical and water resistance performances of bamboo particle reinforced polypropylene composite through cell separation
Holzforschung  (IF2.393),  Pub Date : 2021-03-01, DOI: 10.1515/hf-2019-0289
Dan Ren, Xuexia Zhang, Zixuan Yu, Hankun Wang, Yan Yu

It is frequently observed that bamboo particle composites (BPCs) do not show higher mechanical performances than the corresponding wood particles composites (WPCs), although bulk bamboo is much stronger than wood in mechanical performances. Herein this phenomenon was demonstrated from the cell compositions in the applied bamboo particles. To address that, a simple method to physically separate bamboo fibers (BFs) and bamboo parenchyma cells (BPs) from a bamboo particle mixture was developed. Polypropylene (PP) composites with pure BFs, BPs, a mixture of BFs and BPs (BFs + BPs), wood particles (WPs) as fillers were prepared. The flexural and dynamic mechanical properties, water absorption, and thermal properties were determined. The BF/PP composites showed the best mechanical performances (MOR at 35 MPa, MOE at 2.4 GPa), followed by WP/PP, (BF + BP)/PP, and BP/PP. They also exhibited the lowest water absorption and thickness swelling. Little difference was found for the thermal decomposition properties. However, a lower activation energy of BF/PP compared with BP/PP implied an uneven dispersion of BFs and weaker interfacial interaction between BF and PP. The results suggest that the mechanical performances and water resistance of bamboo particle/polymer composites can be significantly improved through cell separation. However, interface modification should be applied if higher performances of BF/PP composites are required.