Sie sind auf Seite 1von 6

Water Absorption and Dimensional Stability of Short

Kenaf Fiber-Filled Polypropylene Composites Treated


with Maleated Polypropylene
T. T. Law, Z. A. Mohd Ishak
School of Materials and Mineral Resources Engineering, Engineering Campus,
Universiti Sains Malaysia, 14300, Nibong Tebal, Penang, Malaysia
Received 4 November 2009; accepted 13 August
2010 DOI 10.1002/app.33184
Published online 19 October 2010 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com).
uted to the effect of water,
which deteriorates the
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this research was to investi- interfacial properties of
gate the water absorption behavior and associated composites. On re-drying,
dimen-sional stability of kenaf-polypropylene-filledall properties were almost
(PP/KF) composites. Composites with different fiber recovered because of the
loadings, rang-ing from 0 to 40 wt %, were prepared with recovery of interfacial area
a twin-screw ex-truder followed by hot press molding. as evident in scanning
The influence of the compatibilizer was also studied for electron
micrographs.
PP/KF composite with 5 wt % maleated PP (MAPP). Incorporation of the MAPP
Water absorption testing was carried out at room significantly improved the
temperature for 7 weeks. Tensile, flex-ural, and impactcompatibility between the
tests were also performed on control, wet, and re-dried fiber and matrix and the
specimens. Increasing the fiber content resulted in mechanical properties of
higher water absorption and thickness swelling. Thethe composites compared
infe-rior mechanical properties of the wet compositeswith those without MAPP. It
also diminished the water
were attribabsorption as well as the

recyclability,
energy
use,
and
environmental
INTRODUCTI considerations.
5
ON
End-use
Lignocellulosic natural fibers
applications of
such as sisal, coir, jute, ramie,
natural
fiber
pineapple leaf, and kenaf have
composites for
the potential to be used as a
decking,
replacement for glass or other
tradi-tional
reinforcementflooring,
materials in composites. Theseoutdoor
fibers have many propertiesfacilities,
that make them an attractive window
alternative
to
traditionalframes, various
materials. They have highconstruction
specific properties such asmaterials, and
stiffness, impact resistance,bath-room
parts,
for
14
flexibility, and modulus.
example, and
Combining kenaf fibers (KF)their exposure
with other resources provides ato
the
strategy
for
producingatmosphere or
advanced compos-ite materials
contact
with
that take advantage of the
aqueous media
properties of both types of
has
resources.
It
allows
the
scientist to design materials
based
on
end-use
requirements
within
a Corresponden
framework of cost, availability,ce to: Z. A. M.

related thickness swelling


in the composites. VC 2010
Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl
Polym Sci 120: 563572, 2011

Key
words:
kenafpolypropylene composite;
water
absorption;
dimensional
stability;
maleated polypropylene

Ishak
(zarifin.ishak@g
mail. com).
Journal
ofmade
it
Applied Polymernecessary
to
Science,
Vol.evaluate their
120,
563572water
uptake
(2011) VC 2010characteristics.
Wiley
6
Water
Periodicals, Inc.

absorption is
one of the
most important
characteristics
of
KF-filled
polypropylene
(PP/KF)
composite
exposed
to
environmental
condi-tions,
which
determines
their end-use
applications.
Therefore, as a
limiting
parameter,
water
absorption has
to be taken into
account in the
design
of

PP/KF
composites for
final
applications.
Similar
to
water
absorption,
fiber
content
and processing
can
affect
thickness
swelling
and
the
dimensional
stability
of
PP/KF
composites,
which is of
great
importance in
outdoor
applications
such
as
decking
and
7
railing.
In addition,
lignocellulosic
fibers used for
rein-forcement
in
nonpolar
thermoplastics,
such as poly-

ethylene, PP, and polystyrene,can decrease


have to be modified becausethe rate and
effective wetting of fibers andamount
of
strong interfa-cial adhesion arewater
required to obtain compositesabsorbed
in
with optimized mechanicalthe interphase
8
properties. Good wetting ofregion of the
the fiber by the matrix andcomposite. The
adequate fibermatrix bondingwater
absorption

behavior
ofof compatibilnatural
fiberizers
in
ther-moplastic reducing
the
composites
amount
and
has
beenrate of water
studied by aabsorption has
number
ofbeen
well
researchers, documented.9
and
theExtensive
effectiveness

research has
been
carried
out
with
different kinds
of
coupling
agents
for
surface
modification of
natural

564

LAW AND ISHAK

TABLE I
Designation and Composition of Materials
Designation

Materials

PP (wt %)

KF (wt %)

MAPP (wt %)

PP
PP/KF20
PP/KF30
PP/KF40
PP/KF30/M5
PP/KF40/M5

PP
PP kenaf fiber
PP kenaf fiber
PP kenaf fiber
PP kenaf fiber MAPP
PP kenaf fiber MAPP

100
80
70
60
65
55

20
30
40
30
40

5
5

fibers to increase the adhesive action with the


ther-moplastic matrix. Maleated PP wax was used Raw material
as a coupling agent to improve the properties of preparations
compo-sites prepared from jute and kenaf10
reinforced PP. All the studies indicated that there Bundles of KF fibers
was a substantial increase in the surfacewere manually cut into
properties of the fibers with the addition of the 10 mm length with
paper cutter and were
coupling agents.
crushed to 35 mm
The objectives of this study were to investigate length by a crusher.
the long-term water absorption of PP/KF
composites at room temperature and its effect on
mechanical prop-erties such as tensile, flexural,
and impact properties. In addition, the dimensional
stability after water absorption was determined by
indicating the degree of thickness swelling of
samples. Besides studying the effect of fiber
loading on PP/KF, the purpose of this study was
also to explore the use of KF in PP-based
thermoplastic composites both with and without a
compatibilizer to address the weak interfacial
bonding between natural fibers and polymer
matrices.
EXPERIMENTAL
Materials
PP TitanproVR SM950, with a melt flow index of
21.67 g/10 min (tested at 190C with 2.16 kg load)
3
and a density of 0.9 g/cm , was supplied by Titan
Chemi-cals Corp. Bhd. (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia),
and was used as the polymer matrix. It is an
impact copoly-mer and also a nucleated extra
high-flow material, which possesses good
toughness at low temperature and easy
processing properties. In addition, com-mercially
available pellets of maleic anhydride-modified
homopolymer PP (MAPP), Polybond 3200 from
Chemtura Corp. (Chemtura Gastonia, NC), were
used as a compatibilizer to improve the compatibility and adhesion between KF fiber and the
PP. The KF used was obtained from a herbaceous
plant, Hibiscus cannabinus, and was supplied by
For-est Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) in the
form of bundles.

Compounding and
molding
The KF, 35 mm in
length, was initially
dried in a vacuum oven
at 80C for 24 hr. PP,
KF, and MAPP were
extruded using a corotating
twin-screw
extruder
(Model
PSW30) according to
the compositions given
in
Table
I.
The
extrusion
zone
temperature
ranged
from 155C to 175C.
The extrudate was
then pellet-ized with
the extruder pelletizer
(Model PSH10).
After compounding,
the tensile, flexural, and
impact samples were
prepared
by
melt
pressing
pel-lets
of
compounded
material
on a hot press machine
from Kao Tieh GoTech
Testing Machine Inc.
(Taipei, Taiwan). Before
molding,
all
compounded
pellets
were initially dried in a
vacuum oven at 80C for
24
hr
to
remove
moisture entrapped in
the materials. All PP/KF
composites
were
compression molded at
a temperature of 185C
and were preheated
without pressure for 10
min, compressed under
pressure of 10 MPa for
4 min, and cooled under
pressure for 4 min.

and
thick-ness
swelling. After vacuum
Fiber length distribution
drying at 80C for 24 hr
After compounding and molding, KF were taken to a constant weight to
from a small piece of sample using a chemical a precision of 0.001 g,
weight
of
diges-tion technique where xylene was used as the
before
the sol-vent. The fiber length distributions of 100 specimens
water immersion (W d)
fibers were determined with an image analyzer.
were measured with a
balance and thickness
Water absorption and dimensional stability test
was measured with a
thickness gauge (T0).
Water absorption tests were carried out according
The speci-mens were
to ASTM D-570 specifications. Flexural specimens
immersed in water at
were cut from the compression-molded plates and
room temperature for 7
used for the measurements of water absorption
Journal of Applied

weeks.
The weights of the
specimens
were
measured at regular
intervals
using
an
analytical balance. The
surfaces
of
these
specimens
were
thoroughly dried with
tissue papers, and they
were weighed immediately to determine the
weight
of
the
specimens (W w).

Polymer Science DOI 10.1002/app

WATER ABSORPTION AND DIMENSIONAL STABILITY OF PP/KF

565

Flexural test
3366, at a crosshead
The percentage gain at any time t (Mt) as a result speed of 5 mm/min.
11
of water absorption was determined by eq. (1) : Five sam-ples of every
composition
were
Wwthe
Wdweight of the dry mawhere Wd and Ww denote
tested to obtain an
terial (the initial
weight of materials
before water
M %
100
average value.
Wd of materials after water
immersion) and t the weight
immersion, respectively. The specimens were
1
immersed until they were saturated.
The
diffusion
ThreeASTM Impa
M 4 Dt 2 (D) and the maximum water absorbed (M )
coefficient
m
point
D790- ct
t
Mm h p
can be obtained by considering the Ficks law
diffusion
bending
07. Fiveteste
model.
flexural
samples r at
tests
of everyroom
The equation of Ficks
law has been simplified by
12
were
composi-temp
Shen and Springer, to show that the initial absorpconducte
tion wereeratu
tion is given by:
d using
tested tore,
an
obtain acco
Instron
an
rding
model
average to
3366 at
value. AST
a
M
crosshea
Impact D611
d speed
0-08
test
of
5
(notc
mm/min
Charpy hed
and
a
impact sam
span
tests
ples)
length of
were
and
50 mm,
carried AST
accordin
out usingM
g
to
a Zwick
where Mt is the percentage of weight gain at any
time t, Mm is the maximum
absorbed at saturation, D is the mass diffusivity in
the composite, h is the thickness of specimen, and t
is the time of immersion.
The diffusion properties
where
k is laws
the initial
of the by
plotweight
of Mt versus
t1/2, Mm
by Ficks
wereslope
evaluated
gain measis the maximum weight gain, and h is the
urements of predried specimen immersed in water
thickness
of composite.
by considering
the slope
The thickness
swelling
weight
gain curve
versus (TS) was calculated according to the eq. (4):
using the following equation. The coefficient of diffusion (D) is defined as the slope of the normalized
1/2
mass uptake against t and has the form:
p
where T0 and Tw are D
thethicknesses
(mm) of the sample
4M
before and after immersion, respectively.

80
Tensile test

Tensile tests were performed to verify the residual


tensile properties of the composites. The tensile tests
were performed at room temperature according to
ASTM D 638-08, using a tensile tester, Instron model

D4812
-06
(unnot
ched
sampl
e).
Both
the
notche
d and
unnotc
hed
sampl
es
were
tested
under
impact
energy
(2)
of
7.5 joules.

TS %

Tw T0

100

T0

S
c
a
n
ni
n
g
el
e
ct
ro
n
m
ic
ro
s
c
o
p
y
I
m
p
a

Journal

of

ct e
fr d
a wi
ct th
ur a
e fie
s ld
ur fa e
c mi
e ss
s io
of n
s S
a ca
mn
pl ni
en
s g
w El
er ec
e tr
eo
x n
a mi
m cr
in os

c
o
p
e
m
o(4)
d
el
Z
ei
ss
S
u
pr
a
3
5
V
P.
To
in
cr
e
a
s
e
th

e conductiv-ityshow
of the sampless the
and
reducefiber
the charginglengt
effects,
h
the
fracture
surface
was
coated
with of
adistrib
thin
layer
gold
using
aution
VG
MicrotechPolaron
of KF
Sputter
Coater
before
thebefor
scanning
electron
microscopy
e and
(SEM)
examination.
after
comp
RE oundi
SU ng. It
LTS can
AN be
D seen
DIS that
CU the
SSI lengt
ON h of
Fiber length the
fibers
distribution
was
Figure
1short

lied Polymer Science DOI

app

e
n
e
d
t
o
a
n
a
v
e
r
a
g
e