Nourbakhsh, A., Ashori, A., & Kazemi Tabrizi, A.

Composites Part B 56 (1): 279–283

2014

The objective of this research was to study the potential of waste agricultural residues such as rice-husk fiber (RHF), bagasse fiber (BF), and waste fish (WF) as reinforcing and biodegradable agents for thermoplastic composites. Addition of maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene (MAPP) as coupling agent was performed to promote polymer/fiber interfacial adhesion. Several composites with various polypropylene (PP) as polymer matrix, RHF, BF, WF, and MAPP contents were fabricated by melt compounding in a twinscrew extruder and then by injection molding. The resulting composites were evaluated through mechanical properties in terms of tensile, flexural, elongation at break and Izod notched impact following ASTM procedures. Biodegradability of the composites was measured using soil burial test in order to study the rates of biodegradation of the composites. In general, the addition of RHF and BF promoted an increase in the mechanical properties, except impact strength, compared with the neat PP. According to the results, WF did not have reinforcing effect on the mechanical properties, while it could considerably improve the biodegradation of the composites. It was found that the composites with high content of WF had higher degradation rate. Except impact strength, all mechanical properties were found to enhance with increase in cellulosic fiber loading In addition, mechanical properties and biodegradability of the composites made up using RHF was superior to those of the composites fabricated with BF, due to its morphological (aspect ratio) characteristics.