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Mechanical properties of rotational moulded empty fruit bunch fiber reinforced polyethylene composites

Rahmat, A. R. and Maradzi, M. A. (2008) Mechanical properties of rotational moulded empty fruit bunch fiber reinforced polyethylene composites. Journal of Chemical & Natural Resources Engineering, 2 . pp. 41-52. ISSN 1823-5255

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Rotational moulding is a method for producing hollow plastic articles. Nowadays the advantages which it has to offer in terms of the economic production of quite complex, stress-free articles has made it a very competitive alternative to blow moulding and injection moulding. Rotational moulding is unique amongst plastics moulding processes because the heating, shaping and cooling of the plastic all take place inside the mould with no application of pressure. In this research, oil palm empty fruit bunch fibre reinforced polyethylene (EFB-PE) composites which is using high density polyethylene (HDPE) have been produced using a rotational moulding as the compounding equipment. Three levels of EFB were employed; 5%, 10%, 15% and 20% of the total weight of the sample. Two types of coupling agent, maleic anhydride polyethylene (MaPE) and vinyl trimethoxy silane (VTMS) were used. Overall, both coupling agents imparted considerable improvement in the impact strength and tensile modulus, MaPE showed the highest enhancement. However, only MaPE treated EFB-PE was observed to improve flexural strength and tensile strength. The effect of different fiber length size (75-150, 150-250, 250-400~m) was also investigated; the result showed that all mechanical properties decreased with increasing filler loading. These have been attributed by the poor dispersion of the fiber in matrix and the presence of fiber bundles that remain intact even after several types of surface treatment were carried out. Thus, the role of EFB as reinforcing agent is not fully realized.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Advances in Product Development
Uncontrolled Keywords:oil palm empty fruit bunch, polyethylene, rotational molding, coupling agent, composite, natural fiber
Subjects:T Technology > TP Chemical technology
Divisions:Chemical and Natural Resources Engineering (Formerly known)
ID Code:12230
Deposited By: Zalinda Shuratman
Deposited On:18 Apr 2011 02:33
Last Modified:18 Apr 2011 02:33

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