Nowadays, composite materials are among the important materials in existence. They’re broadly utilized in many sectors and applications for example transportation, medical, consumer products, building and construction because of their specific mechanical performance, characteristic and qualities (Cruz and Hashemi, 2006). Lately, growing awareness and social concerns towards preserving and protecting the atmosphere has spurred efforts to build up products suitable for the atmosphere. Therefore, interests to boost polymer qualities by using natural fibers to exchange the present synthetic fibers are reinforced.
1.1 Research Background
Natural fibers as reinforcements or fillers in polymer composites have obtained extra attention over synthetic fibers due to their acceptable specific strength qualities, in your area abundant, inexpensive, low density, nonabrasive, non-toxic, and biodegradable qualities (Kalia et al. 2009 Singha et al. 2011 Torres and Cubillas, 2005). Using natural ‘bers from renewable sources to exchange the standard synthetic ‘bers for example glass ‘bers, carbon ‘bers, and aramid ‘bers will lead to ecological sustainability. In addition, they’re relatively rich in nature and using these lignocellulosic materials in polymer composites may help reduce waste disposal problems in farming fields as well as promote recycling activities. The inclusion of natural fibers in polymer composites can provide an expense reduction towards the plastic industry.
Presently, many studies happen to be conducted associated with the introduction of natural fibers reinforced polymer composites (NFRPs). NFRPs have greater specific strength qualities, lightweight, low density, non-abrasive in addition to inexpensive when compared with commercially reinforced synthetic fiber composites (Ashori, 2008 El-Tayeb, 2008 Prachayawarakorn et al. 2010).
NFRPs have been identified to possess extensive application in lots of industries such as the automotive industry, building, construction, packaging and furniture production. There are numerous kinds of natural fibers that were chosen for polymer composites i.e. sisal (Almeida et al. 2010 Li et al. 2008 Pimenta et al. 2008), jute (Kannappan et al. 2012 Lovdal et al. 2012 Saha et al. 2010). flax (Aydin et al. 2010 Foulk et al. 2006). kenaf (Rashidi et al. 2009 Thirmizir et al. 2010 Tawakkal et al. 2012), pineapple (Chollakup et al. 2010 Threepopnatkul et al. 2009), bamboo (Gonzlez et al. 2011 Kang and Kim, 2011 Lee and Wang, 2006 Ochi, 2012), bagasse (El-Tayeb, 2008 Lu et al. 2006) fibers and much more.
There are lots of studies involving blending natural fiber with polymer matrix i.e. high density polyethylene (HDPE) (Shang et al. 2012 Yao et al. 2008), low density polyethylene (LDPE) (Obidiegwu, 2012 Shinoj et al. 2011), polypropylene (PP) (Asumani et al. 2012 Chakrabarty et al. 2011), poly (lactic acidity) (PLA) (Aydn et al. 2010 Tawakkal et al. 2012), epoxy (Khalil et al. 2011 Maleque et al. 2007) and unsaturated polyester (Rashdi et al. 2009 Qiu et al. 2012). Within their work, they discovered that there’s poor interfacial interaction between natural fiber and non-polar polymer matrix.
It’s because the hydrophilic nature of natural fiber and hydrophobic character of polymer matrix. Therefore, to be able to overcome this issue, modification and treatment, i.e. mercerization, isocyanate treatment, acrylation, latex coating, permanganate treatment, acetylation, silane treatment and peroxide happen to be used (Cristaldi et al.,2010 Kalia et al. 2009 Lu et al. 2000 Torres and Cubillas 2005).
Silane and maleic anhydride grafted polyolefins have been discovered is the best coupling agent and compatibilizer to enhance adhesion between lignocellulosic fiber and thermoplastic matrices (Bledzki and Gassan, 1999 Vilaseca et al. 2010). The alkali treatment using sodium hydroxide (NaOH) continues to be reported as the most typical method accustomed to take away the natural and artificial impurities of fiber surface (Bhat et al. 2011 Bachtiar et al. 2010 Chakrabarty et al. 2011). Eco degradant has been utilized as additive in polyethylene/chitosan composites and located to provide a good effect on the thermal qualities from the composites (Azieyanti and Salmah, 2014).
Polyethylene is easily the most common thermoplastic utilized in polymer industries and broadly utilized in various applications include transportation, food packaging and building industries. Polyethylene offers several benefits for example low cost, excellent performance, chemical inertness, good electrical resistance and processability, toughness, versatility and recyclability (Ahmad and Luyt, 2012). Polyethylene also offers a minimal melting reason for about 135 C, constitutes compatible processing temperatures with lignocellulosic fibers, staying away from degradation of cellulose (Nwabunma and Kyu, 2007). Thus, allow it to be appropriate for polymer matrix of natural fiber composites.
Within this research, natural fibers from galangal plant (Alpinia galanga fiber) were utilised as fillers in polyethylene based composites. Up to now, there’s been no study using Alpinia galanga fibers in thermoplastic based composites. Alpinia galanga fibers are waste of galangal cultivation. Hence, Alpinia galanga fibers could be acquired for without additional costs. They’re in your area available and also have annual renewability. This plant is broadly obtainable in India, Thailand, Indonesia, China and Malaysia and it is extensively utilized in applications for example medicine, food and cosmetics (Chudiwal et al. 2010). In Malayisa, according to data in the Department of Agriculture, Malaysia, the annual manufacture of Alpinia galanga between 2007 and 2011 was roughly 1251, 1518, 1565, 13568 and 1980 metric tons correspondingly and proven in Table 1.1. The Alpinia galanga cultivation is anticipated to improve for many years. Thus, this farming crop-residue could be a valuable supply of natural fibers instead of substitute synthetic fibers in addition to promote recycling.
1.2 Problem Statement
Conventionally, synthetic fibers for example glass, carbon and aramid ‘bers are broadly utilized as reinforcements and fillers in polymer composites because of its role as reinforcing materials to be able to improve strength and stiffness of polymer composites. These synthetic fibers were created from petrochemical products, i.e. not sustainable and never eco-friendly products. The ongoing reliance upon these components might lead to diminishing oil sources later on and cause negative effects mainly for the atmosphere and human health. Besides, this stuff will also be relatively costly.
Another problems arise by using synthetic fiber in polymer composites relates to the disposal system. It is because using incinerator for disposal of synthetic composites would lead to unwanted effects for the atmosphere by growing quantity of air pollutants within the atmosphere because of the co2 emissions (Gomes et al. 2007 Wambua et al. 2003). Therefore, the research on natural fibers as reinforcement in polymer composites to substitute synthetic fibers is really a significant contribution to safeguard the atmosphere.
The elevated quantity of solid waste, particularly plastic wastes also becomes the important thing issues to bother with. Therefore, the use of eco degradant being an additive in polyolefins composites is essential. Eco degradant may play a role to degrade polyolefin composites towards the fundamental elements, i.e. water, co2 and biomass by microorganisms (Ismail et al. 2009).
Among various natural fibers, Alpinia galanga appears to possess a potential as reinforcement in polymer composites. Alpinia galanga fibers are acquired from galangal stalks, these products of farming waste following the galangal cultivation. In Malaysia, there’s roughly 1000-2000 metric a lot of galangal plant created yearly and also the total plantation of galangal has elevated on yearly basis. For instance, the plantation section of galangal this year and 2011 are 222 and 225 ha, correspondingly. This accessibility to galangal wastes results in a motivation for turning these farming wastes into useful industrial products for example natural fiber composites.
However, lignocellulosic fibers are incompatible with nonpolar polymers causing limitations for that effective usage of natural fiber composites. Therefore, several chemical treatments and compatibilizers happen to be used to enhance the compatibility between lignocellulosic fiber and polymer matrix. Caffeine treatments which have been selected are sodium hydroxide (NaOH) in addition to coupling agent treatment using 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (3-APE) and p-toluenesulfonic acidity (PTSA). The maleic anhydride-graft-polyethylene (MAPE) and eco-degradant PD04 are also the compatibilizer and commercialized additive to enhance the qualities from the composites.
1.3 Research Objectives
The objectives of the study are highlighted below:
1. To review the results of Alpinia galanga (AG) fiber loadings and inclusion of eco degradant (eco) and maleic anhydride-graft-polyethylene (MAPE) on tensile and thermal qualities, morphology in addition to water absorption of AG-high density polyethylene (HDPE) composites.
2. To research the results of sodium hydroxide (NaOH), 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (3-APE) in addition to p-toluenesulfonic acidity (PTSA) treated AG fiber loadings with inclusion of MAPE on tensile and thermal qualities, morphology in addition to water absorption of AG/HDPE composites.
3. To research the results of NaOH, 3APE in addition to PTSA treated AG fiber loadings with the help of eco degradant (eco) on tensile and thermal qualities, morphology in addition to water absorption of AG/HDPE composites.
1.4 Scope from the study
To have the objectives from the research, the followings are scopes of the study:
1. Preparation of untreated AG/HDPE composites with and without inclusion of MAPE or eco degradant by utilizing injection molding with assorted AG fiber loadings (3, 6, 10 and 15 wt %).
2. Mechanical testing of untreated AG/HDPE composites with and without inclusion of MAPE or eco degradant by utilizing tensile testing machine.
3. Portrayal of untreated AG/HDPE composites with and without inclusion of MAPE or eco degradant around the thermal and also the moisture absorption ability.
4. Morphological study of untreated AG/HDPE composites with and without inclusion of MAPE or eco degradant using checking electron microscope (SEM).
5. Preparation of NaOH3-APE and PTSA treated AG/HDPE composites with inclusion of MAPE or eco degradant by utilizing injection molding with assorted AG fiber loadings (3, 6, 10 and 15 wt %).
6. Mechanical testing of NaOH3-APE and PTSA treated AG/HDPE composites with inclusion of MAPE or eco degradant by utilizing tensile testing machine.
7. Portrayal of NaOH3-APE and PTSA treated AG/HDPE composites with inclusion of MAPE or eco degradant around the thermal and also the moisture absorption ability.
8. Morphological study of NaOH3-APE and PTSA treated AG/HDPE composites with inclusion of MAPE or eco degradant using checking electron microscope (SEM).
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