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metadata.theses.dc.title: Preparation and characterization of propelyne-kenaf fiber-silica composites
metadata.theses.dc.contributor.*: Muzafar Zulkifli 22-Nov-2018
metadata.theses.dc.description.abstract: In this study, polypropylene-kenaf fiber (PP-KF) and polypropylene-kenaf fiber-silica (PP-KFS) composites were prepared and examined stage by stage. Initial research work carried out was to evaluate the potential use of locally obtained bast KF with particle sizes ranging from 300 to 500 μm and PP:KF ratio of 70:30 by weight were selected, focusing mainly on the mechanical properties. It is known that for any composite system, voids and material compatibility are the issues in producing ideal composite system due to the hydrophilicity of natural fiber to be used with hydrophobic PP material. The PP-KF system was further investigated by incorporating maleic anhydride-grafted polypropylene (MA-g-PP) as a compatibilizer at 3, 5, 7 wt.%. The mechanical properties observed in the present study at 70:30:3 PP: KF: MA-g-PP were comparable to the results obtained by previous researchers. All other mechanical properties showed an increase as expected when MA-g-PP was introduced into the PP-KF system. Secondly, using the KF, a kenaf fiber-silica mixture was prepared using a novel technique through the in situ sol-gel silica process. Various parameters such as the mixing ratios of reactants, soaking as well as drying conditions to produce consistent and reproducible silica content (SC) were studied. The consistent and reproducible result of 18-20% SC was verified by means of weight measurement, thermal, morphological and FTIR analysis. PP-KFS composite was then prepared through melt mixing using the kenaf fiber-silica (KFS) filler which was earlier modified from KF. The mechanical, thermal and physical properties of PP-KFS and PP-KF were compared. The PP-KFS showed increases of 17%, 14% and 10% in TS, YM and FS, respectively. However, it was observed that there were reductions in other properties when compared to PP-KF. This might be due to the influence of silica, which stiffened the composite and reduced the extension capability of the plastics medium. However, for the thermogravimetric analysis, PP-KFS showed better results in the degradation temperature and residual weight. This was also supported by the burning test and void content, where PP-KFS showed 0.77% void content as compared to PP-KF at 1.17%. The micro-computed tomography (CT-scan) also revealed that the PP-KFS had higher relative bone volume at 0.8294 compared to PP-KF at 0.5481. The void content in PP-KF issue was settled with better result obtained in PP-KFS composite. Finally, polypropylene-kenaf fiber-silica-maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene (PPKFSM) with the compatibilizer; MA-g-PP was studied at 3, 5, 7 wt.% of MA-g-PP loading. The 5 wt.% MA-g-PP loading was found to be optimum loading based on the overall mechanical properties. This was done to eliminate both void content as well as compatibility problem as highlighted earlier. As the overall result, the presence of MA-g-PP had improved the mechanical properties. PPKFSM with 5 wt.% MA-g-PP showed increments as much as 15% for TS, 58% increase in YM, with 120% extension rate (EM), 14% increase in FS, 45% increase rate of FM and IS improvement of 252% compared to PP-KF. The results indicated that 30% KFS loading in the presence of 5 wt.% MA-g-PP showed the most significant of improvement compared to others.
metadata.theses.dc.theses.semester: 2018
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses

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