Biodegradable polymers such as poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL) have received increasing attention. New properties are achieved when these polymers are used in composites with natural fibers. Several methods exist for the chemical modification of the fiber to improve adhesion to the polymer matrices. This work deals with the biodegradation in simulated soil of PCL/coconut fiber composites (before and after fiber chemical modification by acetylation - reaction) with the evaluation of mass loss and morphology. Infrared spectroscopy has shown the efficiency of fiber acetylation. The composites buried in simulated soil presented weight loss. The degradation of the samples was confirmed by the morphology modification observed by Scanning Electron Microscopy and Optical Microscopy analysis. The thermal properties analyzed with Differential Scanning Calorimetry have shown differences in the crystallinity content of the matrix with the fiber incorporation.
Poli(ε-caprolactone); green coconut fiber; biodegradability; composites; acetylation