Wood-fiber reinforced bio-polymer composites as alternative materials for industrial applications

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Wood-fiber reinforced bio-polymer composites as alternative materials for industrial applications

Wood-fiber reinforced bio-polymer composite (WFRBC) emerges as a promising material for many industrial applications due to its attractive properties. This work aims to evaluate the thermomechanical performance of WFRBCs, their benefits as alternative materials towards oil-based composites, current challenges, and potential applications within the automotive and construction industry. This thesis is divided into four sections. The first covers the state-of-the-art of composites from raw material, fiber surface modification and processing technologies’ point of view. In sequence, the second section discusses the importance and potential of switching traditional composites for bio-based composites within the automotive and construction industry, as well as their relevance related to WFRBCs. The third section includes the state-of-the-art of thermomechanical properties analysis by standardized testing methods. Lastly, bio-composites application cases found in the literature were selected, for performance evaluation mainly based on thermomechanical properties. The main benefits of bio-composites for replacement of traditional composites mainly made of synthetic reinforcements and polypropylene (PP) matrix were investigated. The composite performance analysis was performed focusing on its mechanical properties (tensile strength, tensile stiffness, flexural strength and impact strength) as well as the composite thermal stability. From the performance evaluation of the WFRBCs considered in this work and their potential to replace traditional composites, promising results that confirm the possibility of switching traditional oil-based composites to this class of bio-composites were found. In this context, WFRBCs have shown competitive and, in some cases, even better mechanical properties in comparison with glass fiber PP composites that are extensively used in the automotive and construction industry.

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