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Keywords:

  • Borassus;
  • natural fiber;
  • mechanical properties;
  • maleated polypropylene;
  • thermal properties

Abstract

With a view of exploring the potential use of natural recourses, we made an attempt to fabricate new Borassus fruit fiber/polypropylene composites by melt mixing method using 5 wt % of fiber. Fibers were chemically modified by alkali treatment using maleated PP (MAPP) as compatibilizer to improve the adhesion between fibers and matrix. Thermal, mechanical, and morphological properties of untreated, alkali treated, and MAPP modified fiber reinforced composites were explored by thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, universal testing machine, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), respectively. Thermal stability of the composites was enhanced to some extent on alkali treatment and addition of MAPP. The tensile strength and modulus, flexural strength and modulus, and impact strength were increased for alkali treated/MAPP composites by 4.5%, 17%, 17.2 %, 9%, and 10% respectively. SEM studies on tensile fractured specimens of unmodified composites reveal the poor fiber-matrix interaction, whereas the interaction is strong with enhanced mechanical properties for modified fiber composites. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013