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Long-term water uptake behavior of natural fiber/polypropylene composites

Authors

  • Mehdi Tajvidi,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Wood and Paper Science and Technology, College of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran
    • Department of Wood and Paper Science and Technology, College of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran
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  • Saeed Kazemi Najafi,

    1. Department of Wood and Paper Science and Technology, College of Natural Resources and Marine Sciences, University of Tarbiat Modares, Noor, Iran
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  • Nazanin Moteei

    1. Department of Wood and Paper Science and Technology, College of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran
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Abstract

Composites of different natural fibers and polypropylene were prepared and their long-term water absorption behaviors were studied. Wood flour, rice hulls, newsprint fibers, and kenaf fibers (at 25 and 50% by weight contents) were mixed with polypropylene and 1 and 2% compatibilizer, respectively. Water absorption tests were carried out on injection-molded specimens at room temperature for 5 weeks. Measurements were made every week and water absorption was calculated. Water diffusion coefficients were also calculated by evaluating the water absorption isotherms. Results indicated a significant difference among different natural fibers, with kenaf fibers and newsprint fibers exhibiting the highest and wood flour and rice hulls the lowest water absorption values, respectively. The difference between 25 and 50% fiber contents for all composite formulations increased at longer immersion times. Water diffusion coefficients of the composites were found to be about 3 orders of magnitude higher than that of pure PP. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2006

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