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IMPACT ANALYSES OF BIODEGRADABLE MATERIALS

Simona Plavanescu Mazurchevici1, Dumitru Nedelcu1, Elena Puiu Costescu1 &


Dorin Vaideanu2
1
“Gheorghe Asachi” Technical Univeristy of Iasi, Department of Machine Manufacturing and Indutrial
Management, Blvd. Mangeron, No. 59A, 700050 Iasi, Romania
2
”Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University, Faculty of Physics, Blvd. Carol I, No. 11, 700506 Iasi, Romania

Corresponding author: Dumitru Nedelcu, nedelcu1967@yahoo.com

Abstract: The growing concern in terms of global pollution has sparked the interest of many scientific
fields which develop more and more earths-friendly materials. Such material is “Liquid wood” a high
quality thermoplastic biocomposite. In order to obtain information about the impact behaviors of four
types of “Liquid wood” (Arboform L, V3 Nature, Arboform L V3 Nature Reinforced with Aramid Fibers,
Arboblend V2 Nature, Arbofill Fitcher) were made some tests according SR EN ISO 179. The
experimental results reveal the possibility of “liquid wood” to replace with success ordinary plastics from
all activities area in terms of impact resistance.

Keywords: Charpy resistance, A-LW, A-LWAF, ABB, ALL.

Introduction

Once with the increasing need and desire for continuous development of new technologies
and materials, made felt the presence of many advantages and inevitable disadvantages. These
drawbacks have increasingly begun to put their mark with the passing years, accumulating more
and more non-degradable waste materials. To reduce as much as possible the negative footprint
left by this on environment, researchers from all fields of activity began to develop and to
produce alternatives for these, more versatile and earths-friendly, [1, 2].
On this category of top materials which presents high quality performances is included also
the “liquid wood” material that could replace with success some ordinary plastics due to its
superior properties to other one and to its biodegradability.
“Liquid wood” is a biopolymer composite divided in three categories, ARBOFORM®,
ARBOBLEND® and ARBOFILL®, which have differed composition in terms of lignin
percentage, being delivered by Tecnaro, material developer, as granules, [3]. The constituents of
Arboform granules are: lignocellulose fibers (combination of cellulose, lignin and wood
polyposis); lignin (matrix of material), polyester as natural polymers; natural resins/waxes:
aromatic and aliphatic ketones, carbonic acids, alcohols, lactones and polycyclic in monomeric,
polymeric form and oligomer form. The Arboblend granules contain biopolymers like polyester,
polyhydroxialkanoate, lignin (matrix of material), cellulose, starch, organic additives, natural
resins or waxes and natural reinforcing fibers. The Arbofill granules are made in principal from
lignin (matrix of material), polypropylene or polyethylene as petrochemical polymers that are
reinforced with flax, hemp or wood fiber (natural fiber), [3, 4].
This quality thermoplastic engineering material has been shown so far high potential in almost
all industrial application areas. These require suitable mechanical properties which can be
compared with the different mechanical characteristics of many conventional plastics (e.g.
Polyamide, High Density Polyethylene, Acetal Homopolymer, Poly Vinylidene Fluoride,
Etylene Copolymer), [5].

Experimental procedure

It is very important to be known the properties of the “liquid wood” in comparison with other
plastic materials, considering their competitive replacement. In this study is analyzed the impact
behavior of Arboform L, V3 Nature (A-LW), Arboform L, V3 Nature reinforced with Aramid
Fibers (A-LWAF), Arboblend V2 Nature (ABB) and Arbofill Fitcher (ALL). Arboform L, V3
Nature reinforced with 30% Aramid Fibres, TWARON D1088 type, produced by TEIJIN. The
tests and the reinforcement of A-LWAF were performed at ICEFS COM Company, Savinesti,
Neamt, Romania. The reinforcement was created in order to improve the injection moulding
technology, increase some mechanical properties and to decrease the product prices.
The injection moulding of materials were carried out on SZ800H standard injection machine
available in the Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology Laboratory, Faculty of Machining
and Industrial Management, "Gheorghe Asachi" Technical University of Iasi.
The experimental study plan used in this research followed the Taguchi methodology, [6]. The
methods satisfy some criteria as minimization of the tests number and consequently the price of
the experimentation, and also provide the best possible accuracy.
The matrix model of the system comprising ‘‘I’’ factors: F1, F2, . . . , Fi each factor having ni
levels. The proposed matrix takes into consideration six technological parameters with two levels
(Table 1). It is applied matrix modelling using Taguchi method and is writhen the Viger and
Sisson model, [6]. The coefficients of a type (1) model were determined in the experimental
study:

ZT  M  Ttop  tinj  tr  S s  Pinj  Dinj  PinjTtop  Pinjtinj  Pinjtr   Pinj S s  Pinj Dinj (1)

where: M-general average; Ttop-melt temperature, [oC]; tinj-injection time, [s], tr-cooling time, [s],
Ss-screw displacement, [mm], Pinj-injection pressure, [MPa], Dinj- injection direction, [o].
The most significant influence of the process is exercised by infection pressure followed by melt
temperature and matrix temperature. These are followed by screw speed, injection time and
cooling time, which are though less significant. After the orthogonally and number of degrees of
freedom conditions were analysed, 16 experimental tests have been made for each material
studied.

Table 1. The level values of input parameters for A-LW, A-LWAF, ABB and ALL
Input
Levels A-LW A-LWAF ABB ALL
parameter
Ist 150 165 160 140
Ttop[°C]
IInd 160 175 170 155
Ist 9 10 3 6
tinj[s]
IInd 11 15 6 9
Ist 18 25 18 18
tr[s]
IInd 25 35 25 25
Ss[mm] Ist 60 70 70 60
IInd 80 90 90 80
Ist 80 120 90 70
Pinj[MPa]
IInd 100 140 110 90
Ist 0˚ 0˚ 0˚ 0˚
Dinj[°]
IInd 90˚ 90˚ 90˚ 90˚

The test of the impact strength is conducted according SR EN ISO 179 for thermoplastic
material, being used to determine its relative ductility or brittleness. The test is executed by
swinging a large, heavy hammer on a pendulum from a predetermined height, Fig.1. When the
striker reaches the bottom of the pendulum curve, the specimen is impacted and fractured. The
equipment used for impact strength measure the impact energy absorbed by the sample during
the break as the difference between the height of falls before break and height growth, after the
breaking of sample the amount of energy consumed is registered, [7].

Fig. 1. Charpy hammer scheme Fig. 2. Sample for Impact with notch

According to impact strength standard , Charpy notched impact strength is calculated based on
the equation (2), [7]:
Ec 3
acU  10
hbN
(2)

where: Ec - absorbed corrected energy at breaking the tested sample (J); h - thickness of the test
sample (mm); bN – the remaining width of tested sample after notching (mm).
Shock properties are influenced by: moisture; hammer speed and power; sample geometry; angle
and direction of impact; manner of sample preparation (cast, extruded or cut plates); manner of
sample attachment on device.

Results and discussions

The determination of impact strength for the studied materials (A-LW, A-LWAF, ABB and ALL
was performed according to SR EN ISO 179, following the impact behavior of the four
thermoplastics.
The samples were manufactured according to standard for resistance to shock of polymeric
materials, with the following dimensions: length (l) = 80 ± 2 mm, width (b) = 10 ± 0.2 mm, thick
(h) = 4 ± 0.2 mm. Subsequently it was processed a notch according impact test standard. It was
performed a notch type A with a radius of 0.25 ± 0.05 mm, angle of 45° ± 1°. The depth of the
groove is 2 ± 0.02 mm and is performed in the middle of the specimen. The remained width after
notching is bN = 8.0 ± 0.2 mm.
The test parameters used in determining the impact resistance of the four types of materials were:
speed 2.9 m/s; weight 1.189 kg; energy 5J; room temperature 18 ÷ 28°C.
The mean values obtained during the impact test are provided by the Table 2.

Table 2. Mean values of Charpy resistance


Charpy resistance
Exp. no. (kJ/ m2)
A-LW A-LWAF ABB ALL
1 0.28 0.58 0.43 0.86
2 0.43 0.43 0.80 0.60
3 0.13 0.44 1.18 0.43
4 0.29 0.44 0.60 0.44
5 0.42 0.43 0.28 0.73
6 0.00 0.43 0.60 0.72
7 0.14 0.57 1.46 0.71
8 0.30 0.42 1.40 0.72
9 0.15 0.70 1.28 0.72
10 0.00 0.44 1.00 0.77
11 0.41 0.44 0.88 0.88
12 0.29 0.00 1.20 0.92
13 0.28 0.44 1.77 1.01
14 0.14 0.42 1.46 1.19
15 0.00 0.43 1.20 1.20
16 0.14 0.44 1.00 1.20

Analyzing the graphs presented on Fig. 3 can be observed the influence of injection parameters
over the mechanical properties, in this case impact strength, for studied materials.
In case of A-LW, Fig. 3. a) are registered maximum impact resistance to approximately same
value, 0.43 kJ / m2, for samples tested on experiments number 2, 5, 8, 11 and 13. This can be
explained by the disposal way of the lignin matrix of lignin in these injection conditions. It is
known that lignin is the substance that gives hardness, inclusive elasticity to wood fiber. This
viscoelastic hardness is explained by the fact that the lignin molecule is a complex molecule
made on its turn from three complex molecules that according to an external deforming cause try
to short the chemical bonds between them, so that the final lignin molecule to fill the same
volume.
Depending on the injection parameters (especially direction of injection angle) can be observed
the connection that exists between the values of viscoelastic properties and the placement way of
the molecular lignin chain: transversal or longitudinal.
For zero values of impact resistance can be concluded that the material is brittle, it did not
oppose any resistance to external mechanical action. In this case we can say that the molecular
chain of lignin is parallel placed to the propagation direction of external mechanical force. This
can be used in case of mechanical cutting of a piece from this material because this one does not
present significant internal structural changes.
A-LW
0.5

Charpy resistance [(kJ/ m²]


0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

0.0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Experiment number

a.
A-LWAF
0.8
Charpy resistance [(kJ/ m²]

0.6

0.4

0.2

0.0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

b.
ABB
2.0
1.8
Charpy resistance [(kJ/ m²]

1.6
1.4
1.2
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0.0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Experiment number

c.
ALL
1.4

Charpy resistance [(kJ/ m²]


1.2

1.0

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0.0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Experiment number

d.
Fig. 3. Chart of Charpy resistence: a. A-LW; b. A-LWAF; c. ABB: d. ALL.

The reinforcement of A-LW (Fig.3 b), present a significant increase in mechanical properties
especially as absolute numerical value. The disappearance of minimal or null values for nearly
all samples, also can be observe. There is one exception to samples tested at experiment number
12, where the viscoelastic behavior change is major. The possible explanations of this situation
can be: the existence of some structural defects occurred during the injection process; the aramid
fibers damage the chain of lignin molecular structure for the respective injection parameters.
For ABB (fig 3 c.) and ALL (fig. 3 d.) can be seen that the values of impact strength are much
higher than for A-LW, even the reinforcement of this one. These two materials do not present
null values, therefore can say that the viscoelastic behavior is more pronounced than in case of
A-LW. In case of this tow materials can be seen an increase of viscoelastic properties with
varying injection parameters. It can be seen from the graphs that from experiment number 14 is
reached a limit maximum value for impact resistance.
The possible explanations regarding the impact behavior of this two materials could be: ALL
material has in its composition artificial polymers that change in a positive way the viscoelastic
properties, also can be influenced by the existence of natural additives in its structure (resin,
glue, wax) that induce this behavior; for A-LW the explanation could be higher concentration of
lignin in its structural composition that can reach up to 90% according to some authors.[xx]

Conclusions

The use of renewable resources become more and more important nowadays due to limited
fissile resources. In this respect, renewable resources are a crucial area in the search for
alternatives to fossil-base raw materials.
Biodegradability, recyclability, durability, affordability and sustainability are the principles
characteristics of “liquid wood” thermoplastic material which convert renewable resources into
“green” products.
The obtained results in case of all four materials must be correlated with the results of "liquid
wood" behavior under a traction force.
In case of A-LW material the results for impact resistance are small, this thing revealing it brittle
behavior. The reinforcement of A-LW presents as was expected better responses in case of
impact tests than the base material.
For ABB and ALL materials can be seen that the values of impact strength are much higher than
for A-LW, even the reinforcement of this one. These two materials do not present null values,
therefore can say that the viscoelastic behavior is more pronounced than in case of A-LW.
From a first analysis of this correlation can say with certainty that the molecular chain of lignin
and its positioning towards the direction of the external mechanical force influence the
viscoelastic properties. In conclusion, depending on how and where the parts made from "liquid
wood" material will be used the injection parameters will be choose that way to lead to the
expected results.

References

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S.Pilla John Wiley & Sons Publisher, New Jersey (2011).
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Bio-Based Plastics: Materials and Applications (Lignin Matrix Composites from Natural
Resources - ARBOFORM®), edited by S. Kabasci, John Wiley & Sons. Publisher, Ist edition
(2014).
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