Newsprint paper waste as a fiber reinforcement in rubber composites



The investigation of the economical use of lignocellulose waste, which is one of the environmental problems facing third-world nations, is ongoing. In this study, we intended to increase the use of newsprint fibers in the rubber industry. For this reason, we treated newsprint fibers with sodium silicate and magnesium chloride, and we examined the water retention values and thermal degradation analyses of the treated fiber waste. The activation energy of degradation was evaluated with the Coats–Redfern method of analysis. The effects of the addition of different amounts [0–60 parts per hundred parts of rubber by weight (phr)] of untreated and treated newsprint fibers on both the electrical and mechanical properties of two different types of rubber (natural rubber and acrylonitrile rubber) were studied. This study led us to the conclusion that the addition of treated newsprint fiber waste at a concentration of 40 phr could lead to an end product characterized by good electrical and mechanical properties. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 91: 469–478, 2004