The intent of the current study is to develop composite material from biodegradable waste rubber seed shell (RSS) and epoxy resin. The purpose is to enhance the properties of the polymer by reinforcing with RSS filler. The effect of dual pre-treatment on the mechanical, morphological, electrical and thermal properties of RSS through solvent extraction and alkali treatment processes is investigated in the present work. Composite material is developed using 5, 10, 15 and 20 wt% of RSS. Tensile test results show an increase in the tensile strength and Young’s modulus of the treated composite specimens compared to non-treated ones. The pre-treatment of the shell using solvent extraction and alkali treatment shows a considerable reduction in moisture absorption by the composite. Scanning electron microscope observations reveal excellent interaction between the pre-treated RSS and epoxy matrix with the reduction in fiber pullout, micro-spaces and voids. The inclusion of RSS filler does not have significant effect on the thermal stability of the composite. But incorporation of RSS fillers lowers the electrical conductivity of the epoxy matrix. Thus, rubber seed shell-reinforced epoxy composites are expected to be effective in reducing agricultural waste and may find promising applications in the development of value added products.
Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering – Springer Journals
Published: May 30, 2018
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