Faculty Advisor

Shivkumar, Satya

Abstract

The desire for sustainable materials increased investigations into biodegradable polymers and improving their capabilities with natural fillers for reinforcement. Natural fillers affect processing of bioplastics therefore the objective of this project was to improve the molding properties of a biodegradable polymer. For this experiment injection molded samples of polylactic acid (PLA) and bamboo powder were formed. Observed distribution of the powder within the polymer, flexural and thermal properties were measures of processing improvements. Optimal temperatures for the injection molder, pre-heat treatment of the samples, and coupling agents helped processing of the samples. More improvements are needed for reinforced biopolymers to be competitive with traditionally formed bioplastics.

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2014

Major

Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

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