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Mechanical properties of luffa cylindrica reinforced bio-composite

Author: 
Salawu Asipita Abdulrahman, Ekemhe Emmanuel Aiyejina and Ubi Ateb Paschal
Subject Area: 
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Abstract: 

The favourable properties exhibited by synthetic polymers and ceramics have made them become the most commonly sort engineering materials in recent years. Despite the excellent properties exhibited by these synthetic polymer materials, the problem of biodegradability and sustainability makes it necessary to research into fully biodegradable composites which are green in every way. In this research, green composites were developed using cassava starch as matrix material and luffa cylindrica fibre as reinforcing material. The weight of the reinforcing material was varied at a step of 10 g from 10 g to 50 g during the bio-composite fabrication. 4% (0.1 mole) sodium hydroxide was used to treat the luffa cylindrica fibres at room temperature for 24 hours to enhance the interfacial bonding interaction between the cassava matrix and the bio fibre. Characterisations carried out on the treated bio fibre were; Fourier Transform Infra-Red Spectroscopy (FTIRS), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF). Tests including impact test, shore-D hardness test, moisture absorption, and bulk density determination of the developed composites were performed after the development of the bio-composites. The characterisations showed that the sodium hyrdroxide treatment effectively modified the fibres. Results from the mechanical tests showed that the bio-composite with 9:1 matrix to filler ratio absorbed the highest impact energy of 6.425 j while the 5:5 samples gave the least percentage moisture absorption value. A bulk density of 0.67 g/cm3 was obtained for the 7:3 (matrix to filler ratio) samples and the highest density value for the samples was obtained for the 9:1 sample with a corresponding value of 1.68 g/cm3.

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