Studies of the development of strong and tough composites of poly-lactic acid (PLA) matrix reinforced or filled with ceramic reinforcements in powder or fibre form.
PLA is the leading polymer globally for replacing many types of fossil-based polymers and is made from starchy plants including corn and its agricultural waste. To improve its strength and toughness we incorporate ceramic fibres and powders in the PLA matrix with very good results (Image 1). Heat deflection temperature of aged PLA with and without silane-type additives is also being studied (Image 2).
In addition, we are developing a replacement for epoxy-type thermoset binder for CFRP and GFRP using lactic-acid which is polymerized in-situ by mixing two components. The work is being carried out by internal funding and support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the KRIPIS GSRT programme.