Fabrication of flax fibre-reinforced cellulose propionate thermoplastic composites

W. Woigk, C. A. Fuentes, J. Rion, D. Hegemann, A. W. van Vuure, E. Kramer, C. Dransfeld, K. Masania*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Natural materials such as wood exhibit high mechanical properties through cellulose structured at multiple length scales and embedded in a matrix of similar chemical structure. These hierarchical materials have inspired the design of lightweight composites composed of naturally occurring polymers. However, the close proximity of melt and decomposition temperature remain a challenge. In this work, cellulose propionate (CP) is modified to reduce its glass transition temperature and melt viscosity, allowing its use as a matrix in a natural fibre-reinforced composite. Through better impregnation, the modified CP matrix composites showed an increase in stiffness and strength of ∼10% and 20%, respectively, in comparison to unmodified CP matrix composites. The impact properties also increased by up to 28%, showing that modified CP is a credible matrix for realising sustainable all-cellulose natural fibre composites with high stiffness, strength and toughness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107791
Number of pages10
JournalComposites Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Cellulose propionate
  • High toughness
  • Mechanical properties
  • Natural fibre composite


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