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Tensile, Thermal and Morphological Characterization of Cocoa Bean Shells (CBS)/Polycaprolactone-Based Composites

D. Puglia1*, F. Dominici1, M. Badalotti2, C. Santulli3, J.M. Kenny1

University of Perugia, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Materials Engineering Center, UdR INSTM, Terni, Italy
Design Faculty, Polytechnic University of Milan, Milan, Italy
School of Architecture and Design, University of Camerino, Ascoli Piceno, Italy

*Corresponding author:

Journal of Renewable Materials 2016, 4(3), 199-205.


In this work, cocoa bean shells (CBS), which were ground, then sieved to less than 150 μm and dried in a vacuum oven, have been introduced in a polycaprolactone (PCL) matrix in three different amounts, 10, 20 and 30% wt. The obtained composites were tested under tensile loading, which indicated an enhanced rigidity with a slight decrease of strength with respect to the neat polymer and a reduced elongation, particularly evident for composites with 30 wt% CBS, where final collapse took place for strains only slightly exceeding the yielding point. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) indicated a rather negligible variation of melting temperature with respect to pure PCL, whilst thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) for CBS showed evident peaks for degradation of hemicellulose, pectin, then most clearly for cellulose at 313 °C and a final residue of 33.3% at 900 °C. Scanning electron microscopy images taken on the 30% wt. composite offered evidence of brittle fracture with appearance of irregular structures, related to the pull-out and fibrillation of cocoa shells.


Cite This Article

Puglia, D., Dominici, F., Badalotti, M., Santulli, C., Kenny, J. (2016). Tensile, Thermal and Morphological Characterization of Cocoa Bean Shells (CBS)/Polycaprolactone-Based Composites. Journal of Renewable Materials, 4(3), 199–205.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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