Polyurethane composites based on oil palm empty fruit bunches: Effect of isocyanate/hydroxyl ratio and chemical modification of empty fruit bunches with toluene diisocyanate and hexamethylene diisocyanate on mechanical properties

Authors

  • H. D. Rozman,

    Corresponding author
    1. Bio-Resource, Paper & Coatings Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang 11800, Malaysia
    • Bio-Resource, Paper & Coatings Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang 11800, Malaysia
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  • K. R. Ahmad Hilme,

    1. Bio-Resource, Paper & Coatings Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang 11800, Malaysia
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  • A. Abubakar

    1. Bio-Resource, Paper & Coatings Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang 11800, Malaysia
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Abstract

This study focuses on the effect of isocyanate (NCO)/hydroxyl (OH) group ratios and chemical modification of oil palm empty fruit bunches (EFBs) with toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and hexamethylene diisocyanate (HMDI) on the mechanical properties of EFB–polyurethane (PU) composites. The tensile, flexural, and impact properties are affected by the NCO/OH ratios. The tensile strengths, flexural strengths, and toughness increase as the NCO/OH increases; however, the modulus decreases. The reduction in the modulus is attributable to the increased flexibility of the PU linkages. Chemical modification of the EFBs increases the tensile strength, flexural strength, and toughness; however, the modulus is lowered as the percentage of treated EFB is increased. Impact strength results show that the strength increases as the NCO/OH ratio is increased. At NCO/OH ratios of 1.0 and 1.1, the composites with HMDI-treated fibers exhibit higher impact strength than those with TDI-treated and untreated fibers, respectively. This may be due to the longer and more flexible chain length of HMDI as compared to TDI, which enables the composites to absorb more energy before failure. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 2007

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