Maleated polypropylene film and wood fiber handsheet laminates
The grafting effect of maleic anhydride (MA) as an interfacial bonding agent and its influence on the tensile strength properties of thermomechanical pulp handsheet-isotactic polypropylene (iPP) film laminates was studied. For the MA treated with benzoyl peroxide (BPO) as an initiator, tensile strength properties increased 76% with PP film over untreated laminates. The optimal strength properties were obtained with a MA and BPO ratio of 2:1. A strong correlation was observed between the number of fibers in the web and tensile strength properties for both handsheet drying conditions. The R2 values were 0.95 for air-dry conditions and 0.94 from oven-dry conditions. Scanning electron microscopy images also showed the effectiveness of MA loading on the surface of thermomechanical pulp fibers due to increased fiber failure, which occurred without fiber being pulled out from the PP matrixes. Crystallinity and heat flow were determined using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and increased as expected as the ratio of MA and BPO increased from 0:0 to 2:1. These results were also in accordance with the morphological observations at the fracture surface, Fourier transform infrared spectra, and thermal analysis.