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Studying of factors influencing the use of cellulose-based nanoparticles for reinforcement of polymer composites

Author: 
Khaled Mustafa Elerian, Hamed Elmously and Ola H. Abdelbar
Subject Area: 
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Abstract: 

This study focuses on the use of cellulose-based natural fibers, extracted from date palm midribs in the form of nano particles, as reinforcement to Epoxy resin. Date palm midribs were first roughly broken to lengths of ~ 10mm in macro scale and then were chemically treated by two methods (Alkali treatment which is called Treatment1 and the other alkali and acetylation treatment which is called Treatment2). Further the material was milled down to nano scale, using a self-designed and constructed planetary ball mill, resulting in particles sizes ranging between 10.86 to 21.36 nm for Alkali treated fibers, and between 30.63 to 63.93 nm for alkali and acetylation treated fibers. Nanocomposites were prepared using a casting technique by ultrasonic dispersion method, where compounds of varying compositions (0.5 up to 5 wt% nanofiber reinforcement), were treated using Amino silane coupling agent, and finally specimen were poured into rubber molds of requested shape. Nanocomposites were oven-dried at 80oC for 2 hours. The mechanical performance of the composites was evaluated in terms of tensile, flexural and impact properties in addition to hardness. The results show that increasing palm midrib nano fibers content has significant effect on all mechanical properties as compared to the control sample. The results show that the alkali treatment is more suitable and provide better enhancing in all mechanical properties than the alkali and acetylation treatment.

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