Mechanical properties of bagasse fiber filled polypropylene composites
Azlin Fazlina, Osman
Nur Sheli Akma, Ramli
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The bagasse is a sugarcane waste generated in high proportions in the agroindustry. In this study, bagasse fiber has been used as filler in polypropylene (PP) matrix to develop the composite from polymer and natural fiber. Bagasse fiber filled polypropylene (PP/BF) composites were prepared by using the Z-blade mixer at processing temperature of 190°C and a speed of 35rpm with different filler loading varying between 0% and 15% by weight. Maleic anhydride (MAPP) coupling agent was used to improve the adhesion between the fiber and PP matrix. The effect of coupling agent addition and fiber content on properties of PP/BF composites was studied. Tensile strength and elongation at break increased with increasing filler content while modulus of elasticity decreased for both coupled and uncoupled PP/BF composite. The addition of bagasse fiber in PP has decreased the flexural strength and flexural modulus for both coupled and uncoupled PP/BF composites. However, coupled PP/BF composites showed greater flexural properties compared to uncoupled PP/BF composites. Based on swelling behaviour, it can be observed that the coupled PP/BF composites showed lower water absorption rate compared to the uncoupled one. The presence of MAPP as coupling agent resulted in decreased water absorption level and enhanced mechanical properties for PP/BF composites.