Effect of Mercerization on the Mechanical and Thermal Response of Hybrid Bagasse Fiber/CaCO3 Reinforced Polypropylene Composites

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Date

2019-07

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Polymer Testing, Elsevier

Abstract

This study evaluated the effect of sodium hydroxide mercerized bagasse fiber (BF) on the mechanical and thermal properties of polypropylene composites reinforced with hybrid BF/calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Samples were fabricated with a compression molding machine and characterized for tensile, flexural, and thermal properties. Hybrid composites with mercerized BF (HMC) exhibited improved mechanical properties than the unmercerized hybrid composite (UHC), single-component composite (SC) and control sample. Additionally, TGA/DTG analysis revealed that the HMC were more thermally stable in comparison with other samples. Crystallinity index of HMC was about 24% higher than UHC, as indicated by XRD analysis. SEM images showed good interfacial adhesion in the morphology of HMC compared to UHC, which contributed to the improved thermal and mechanical properties exhibited by HMC. These results indicated that mercerization treatment and reinforcement hybridization could be utilized for improving the thermal and mechanical responses of natural fiber reinforced polypropylene composites.

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Keywords

Mercerization, Bagasse fiber, Hybrid composites, Polypropylene, Mechanical properties, Thermal analysis

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