Effect of surface modification of beech wood flour on mechanical and thermal properties of poly (3-hydroxybutyrate)/wood flour composites

Adriana Gregorova 1 , Rupert Wimmer 2 , Marta Hrabalova 3 , Martin Koller 4 , Thomas Ters 1 ,  and Norbert Mundigler 3
  • 1 Institute of Wood Science and Technology, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
  • 2 Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
  • 3 Institute for Natural Materials Technology, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Tulln, Austria
  • 4 Institute of Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria


Poly (3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB), a biodegradable polymer from the polyhydroxyalkanoate biopolyester class, was filled with 20% beech wood flour (WF) to form completely biodegradable films. In the present study, the influence of surface modification of wood flour was investigated on the interfacial adhesion of PHB/WF composites. In addition to a hydrothermal pretreatment, sodium hydroxide and stearic acid were used as surface modifiers. Direct measurement of interfacial adhesion was carried out by mechanical testing and dynamic mechanical analysis. Thermal properties, degree of crystallinity of PHB/WF composites were determined by differential scanning calorimetry. Effects of sodium hydroxide and stearic acid treatment on the adhesion of PHB/WF interface were feeble when no hydrothermal pretreatment was applied. Nevertheless, surface modifiers applied on hydrothermally pretreated WF significantly improved the WF/PHB interface adhesion.

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Holzforschung is an international scholarly journal that publishes cutting-edge research on the biology, chemistry, physics and technology of wood and wood components. High quality papers about biotechnology and tree genetics are also welcome. Rated year after year as one of the top scientific journals in the category of Pulp and Paper (ISI Journal Citation Index), Holzforschung represents innovative, high quality basic and applied research.