The objective of the study was to investigate the suitability of using sorghum bran in recycled low density polyethylene (R-LDPE) composites manufacturing. In response to the disposal of environmental problematic agricultural and polymer waste, composite sheets using recycled low density polyethylene and sorghum bran of different loadings (5, 10, 15 and 20 wt%) were prepared by melt compounding and compression molding. The effects of sorghum bran loadings on the mechanical, thermal, water absorption, swelling and crystalline properties of the composites were determined. Characterization of composites was carried out using X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermo gravimetric (TGA/DTG) and mechanical analyses. It was found that increasing fiber loadings resulted to increased moduli and tensile strength while hardness was decreased. XRD indicated that fiber addition to R-LDPE did not change characteristic peak position. DSC results showed that the R-LDPE had significantly larger peak heat flow during cooling run than the blank R-LDPE, showing higher crystallization rates for R-LDPE. The results obtained confirmed that sorghum bran particles showed some potential as a good reinforcement in polymer matrix composites and indicate its thermal stability for possibly future composite applications.
Journal of Polymers and the Environment – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 15, 2016
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