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Natural Fiber-Polypropylene Composites Made from Caranday Palm

Estela Krause Sammartino1,2,3†, María Marta Reboredo4, Mirta I. Aranguren*,4
INTI-Plásticos, Av. Gral. Paz e/ Constituyentes y Albarellos, Casilla de correo 157 B1650KNA, San Martín, Argentina
National University of General San Martín, Av. 25 de Mayo y Francia, 1650 San Martin, Cdad. Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina
†Laboratorios Rivero, Av. Boyacá 419, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Departments of Chemical Engineering and Materials Engineering, Institute of Materials Science and Technology (INTEMA), National University of Mar del Plata, Av. Juan B. Justo 4302, Mar del Plata, Argentina
*Corresponding author: marangur@fi .mdp.edu.ar

Journal of Renewable Materials 2016, 4(2), 101-112. https://doi.org/10.7569/JRM.2014.634144

Abstract

Composites made from polypropylene (PP) and local South American fibers traditionally used in yarnderived craftsmanships, Caranday Palm, were studied regarding the effect of fiber addition, concentration and characteristics of the coupling agent (molecular weight and percentage of grafted maleic anhydride), as well as type of processing. A laboratory-scale intensive mixing followed by compression, and pilot plant twin extrusion followed by injection, were the two processes investigated. The use of the first one allowed the selection of processable formulations with high fiber concentration and a percentage of coupling agent below the surface fiber saturation. In fact, it was found that there is a concentration of maleic anhydride moieties that saturates the surface of the fiber irrespective of the agent molecular weight. Increasing the concentration of the coupling agent above that value does not produce further improvement of the mechanical properties. The formulations selected from the results of the laboratory process were considered for the pilot plant (extrusioninjection) process. The use of the second process consisting of extrusion-injection molding showed that the high shear developed in this process leads to defibrillation of the fiber bundles. In the case of the Caranday Palm fibers, this defibrillation resulted in elemental fibers (micron size) being the effective reinforcement of the composite instead of the technical fibers (millimeter size) that were present in the composites prepared by compression. Better mechanical properties were achieved by using the latter method.

Keywords

Natural fiber composites, defibrillation, injection molding, compression molding, mechanical properties, coupling agents

Cite This Article

Sammartino, E. K., Reboredo, M. M., Aranguren, M. I. (2016). Natural Fiber-Polypropylene Composites Made from Caranday Palm. Journal of Renewable Materials, 4(2), 101–112.



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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