The interest in biopolymers is growing fast. Especially PLA finds interesting industrial applications, more and more in durable end products like technical textiles and not only in disposables. Previous research has shown that PLA fibres can be made to have very good mechanical properties, including high tenacity and a much higher elongation than neat PLA. The fact that there are multiple PLA grades with a range of melting points opens up the possibility of developing self-reinforced PLA composites, a domain which has previously not been explored.
BIO-SRPC will combine industrial trends and explore the potential to develop SRPCs from renewable PLA polymers. This will be obtained by:
- careful formulation of high and low melting representatives of the PLA families
- defining textile extrusion processes with optimised tenacity properties for the reinforcement fraction and melt and flow behaviour for the matrix fraction
- further textile processing of the filaments in yarns and fabrics to precomposites
- defining the consolidation and thermoformation process retaining maximum strength and impact resistance properties along with stability properties
- evaluation of mechanical properties and recycling possibilities
The resulting biocomposites have to overcome the intrinsic negative PLA properties such as brittleness and create an impact strength far exceeding the ones of standard PLA plates.
Long-term durability (>10 years) will be guaranteed, by using hydrolytic stabilizers. Their recycling potential allows BIO-SRPCs to be eco-designed in order to create highly eco-friendly products.