Effects of compatibilizer and nanolayered silicate on physical and mechanical properties of PP/bagasse composites


Abstract: Bagasse, an agricultural waste, was investigated for wood plastic nanocomposite production. The incorporation of nanolayered silicate has been considered in recent years for improving the properties of thermoplastic composite. In this study a composite of polypropylene (PP) and bagasse fiber (BF), with different concentrations of nanoclay and maleic anhydride (MA) as compatibilizer, were fabricated by injection molding. Then physical and mechanical properties of the composites were tested according to ASTM standards. The results indicated that tensile modulus and flexural strength increased with an increase in clay loading; however, impact strength and water absorption decreased with an increase in nanolayered silicates. The degree of nanoclay dispersion in PP/BF composite was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) method. The morphological study showed that the intercalation morphology in nanocomposite samples and d-spacing of layers increased with an increase in clay content. The effect of compatibilizer was positive in terms of enhancing the properties of composites. The maximum physical and mechanical properties of samples were achieved with 3% nanolayered silicates and 2% coupling agent.

Keywords: Bagasse, compatibilizer, injection molding, nanolayered silicates, polypropylene

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