Effect of cellulosic filler loading on mechanical and thermal properties of date palm seed/vinyl ester composites
Ismail, Sikiru O.
There are numerous better applications of fibre reinforced polymer composites today, when compared with metals and alloys. Many studies have been conducted to further improve the inherent mechanical and thermal properties of the composite materials, especially with sustainable, environmental friendly, recyclable and biodegradable reinforcements. Consequently, in this current study, the composites were prepared by combining bio solid waste (date seed filler) and vinyl ester to enhance the properties of polymer composites. The date seed filler reinforced vinyl ester (DSF-VE) composites were prepared by using conventional compression moulding technique with varying fillers loadings from 5% to 50%. The mechanical (tensile, flexural, impact and hardness), water absorption and thermal (heat deflection temperature and thermo-gravimetric analysis) properties of the DSF-VE composites were experimentally evaluated. Scanning electron microscopic analysis was carried out to analyse the surface characteristics and fractured surface of the DSF-VE composites. It was evident from the results obtained that 30 wt% of the DSF-VE composites exhibited the highest mechanical properties: impact, tensile, hardness and flexural of 17.03 KJ/m2, 40.3 MPa, 51 and 149 MPa, respectively, among the fabricated composites. Similarly, the heat deflection temperatures of DSF-VE composites increased by 58.49%, when compared with the neat, pure vinyl ester resin. The thermo-gravimetric analysis showed that the natural filler-based (DSF-VE) composites possessed thermal stability up to 400.2 C, which was within the polymerisation process temperature. Furthermore, the DSF-VE composites have been successfully utilised for various potential applications, such as fabrication of a table fan blade, an engine guard for two-wheelers and self-motor guard for four wheelers.