The Effect of Soil Burial Degradation of Oil Palm Trunk Fiber-filled Recycled Polypropylene Composites

Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites (Impact Factor: 0.9). 06/2009; 29(11):1653-1663. DOI: 10.1177/0731684409102939

ABSTRACT Soil burial tests were carried out to evaluate the effect of biodegradation on the mechanical properties (tensile, flexural, and impact) and the mass loss of OPT fiber-filled RPP composites, as compared to control samples (virgin PP and RPP without filler). The composite samples were prepared using 30% w/w of OPT filler with a size of 100 µm. Compounding was carried out using a Haake Rheodrive 500 twin-screw compounder operating at 190°C and 8 MPa for 30 min. The effect of biodegradation was performed in a perspex plastic apparatus for 12 months. Assessments of the mechanical properties and the percentage of mass loss were carried out at 3, 6, and 12 months of exposure in soil. The mechanical properties (tensile, flexural, and impact) of materials deteriorate with an increase in exposure time. The effects of biodegradation increase with burial period, i.e., from 0 to 12 months. The tensile properties, flexural properties, and impact strength of the composites decrease by about 38—47%, 37—50%, and 47%, respectively, as compared to the value before the biological test. In contrast, the mass of the composite samples increased by ∼12.7%, whereas for PP and RPP, it increased by around 10.7 and 9.2%, respectively. SEM analysis was conducted to analyze the deterioration and the poor fiber—matrix bonding of composites.

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    ABSTRACT: A new class of biocomposites based on oil palm empty fruit bunch fiber and poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT), which is a biodegradable aliphatic aromatic co-polyester, were prepared using melt blending technique. The composites were prepared at various fiber contents of 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 wt% and characterized. Chemical treatment of oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) fiber was successfully done by grafting succinic anhydride (SAH) onto the EFB fiber surface, and the modified fibers were obtained in two levels of grafting (low and high weight percentage gain, WPG) after 5 and 6 h of grafting. The FTIR characterization showed evidence of successful fiber esterification. The results showed that 40 wt% of fiber loading improved the tensile properties of the biocomposite. The effects of EFB fiber chemical treatments and various organic initiators content on mechanical and thermal properties and water absorption of PBAT/EFB 60/40 wt% biocomposites were also examined. The SAH-g-EFB fiber at low WPG in presence of 1 wt% of dicumyl peroxide (DCP) initiator was found to significantly enhance the tensile and flexural properties as well as water resistance of biocomposite (up to 24%) compared with those of untreated fiber reinforced composites. The thermal behavior of the composites was evaluated from thermogravimetric analysis (TGA)/differential thermogravimetric (DTG) thermograms. It was observed that, the chemical treatment has marginally improved the biocomposites' thermal stability in presence of 1 wt% of dicumyl peroxide at the low WPG level of grafting. The improved fiber-matrix surface enhancement in the chemically treated biocomposite was confirmed by SEM analysis of the tensile fractured specimens.
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences 01/2012; 13(2):1327-46. · 2.46 Impact Factor


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