EFFECT OF NATURAL PLANT LATEX TREATMENT ON THE MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF BORASSUS PALM LEAF STALK FIBRE/EPOXY COMPOSITE
Authors: *Alabi A.S, Shehu U, Ause T, Mbada, N.I.
Interest is on the increase in the use of ligno-cellulosic fibre as potential replacement of its man-made counterpart for reinforcement in polymeric material because of the growing global environmental and ecological awareness. Borassus palm leaf stalk fibre (BPLSF) was extracted by the combination of water retting and mechanical method. The fibre was pretreated with 6wt% NaOH for an hour, and followed by natural plant latex treatment to modify the fibre surface for enhanced fibre-matrix interfacial interaction. The neat epoxy was reinforced with BPLSF using hand layup method and mechanical properties of the composite were evaluated. It was observed that tensile strength of epoxy (23.69MPa) increased more than double fold (50.48MPa) on addition of 25wt. % latex treated fibre. Flexural strength increased from 49.93MPa for epoxy to 72.35MPa for latex treatment at 25wt% fibre content. Impact strength also increased slightly from 75.00KJ/m2 for epoxy matrix to 80.25KJ/m2 at 25wt.% latex treated fibre content addition. Hardness value increased progressively with percentage fibre content to more than double fold at 25wt.% latex treatment with micro Vickers hardness value of 42.77 as compared to 17.50 for unreinforced matrix. It was concluded that latex treatment was efficient in improving interfacial interaction between the BPLSF and epoxy matrix.
Affiliations: Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
Keywords: Ligno-cellulosic Fibre, Borassus Palm Leaf Stalk Fibre, Epoxy Matrix, Natural Plant Latex, Fibre Modification
Published date: 2017/12/30