Surface treated bagasse fiber ash on rheological, mechanical properties of PLA/BFA biocomposites

<div><p>Abstract The use of silica based bagasse fiber ash (BFA) as a reinforcing filler in polylactic acid (PLA) biocomposites was examined. The effects of surface-treated BFA on the rheological, swelling behavior, and mechanical properties and water absorption of biocomposites were studied. BFA was treated using a silane coupling agent (Bis-[3-(triethoxysilyl)-propy]-tetrasulfide). Composites with BFA were varied from 5 to 25wt.%. The PLA/BFA composite melts were pseudoplastic non -Newtonion fluid and exhibited a shear thinning behavior. The viscosity of the surface-treated BFA biocomposites was higher than that of the untreated. The viscosity of the composites decreased with increasing BFA content and shear rate. The extrudate swell of the composites increased with increasing shear rate, whereas it decreased with increasing BFA content and die temperature. The extrudate swell tended to be suppressed when surface-treated BFA was used. Silane treated BFA composites showed improvement in their mechanical properties, and exhibited significantly reduced water absorption.</p></div>