DEVELOPMENT OF BAOBAB/SISAL REINFORCED LOW DENSITY POLYETHYLENE HYBRID COMPOSITE


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TABLE OF CONTENT

Abstract
Table of content
List of Abbreviation and Symbols

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1Back ground of Study
1.2Statement of Problem
1.3Justification for the Research
1.4 Aim and Objectives
1.5 Scope of Study

CHAPTER TWO
Literature Review
2.1Composite Materials
2.1.1 Basic constituent materials in composites
2.1.1.1Matrix phase
2.1.1.2 Low density polyethylene
2.1.1.3 Functions of a matrix
2.1.1.4Reinforcement
2.2Classification of Composites
2.2.1 Synthetic composite material
2.2.2 Fibrous composite
2.2.2.1 Hybrid composites
2.2.3 Factors influencing the performance of hybrid composites
2.3 Natural Fibres
2.3.1 Advantages of natural fibres
2.3.2Disadvantages of natural fibres
2.3.3 Chemical treatment of fibres
2.3.3.1 Mercerization (alkali treatment)
2.3.3.2 Siline treatment
2.3.3.3 Benzoylation
2.3.3.4 Peroxide treatment
2.3.3.5 Other chemical treatment methods
2.3.4.Baobab and sisal fibres
2.3.4.1Baobab fibre
2.3.4.2 Physical properties of baobab fibre
2.4.4.3 Sisal fibres
2.4.4.4 Physical properties of sisal fibre

CHAPTER THREE
3.1 Materials and Methods
3.1.1 Materials and equipment
3.1.1.1 Materials
3.2 Experimental methods
3.2.1 Extraction of baobab fibres
3.2.2 Extraction of sisal fibres
3.2.3 Size reduction
3.2.4 Step I: Baobab/LDPE composite preparation
3.2.5 Step II: Determination of effect of NaOH concentration on physical and mechanical properties of baobab fibre
3.2.5.1 Treated baobab LDPE composite preparation
3.2.6 Step III: Baobab/sisal LDPE hybrid composite preparation
3.2.7 Step IV: Determination of the effect of NaOH concentration on hybrid composite
3.2.7.1 Treated baobab/sisal LDPE composite preparation
3.3 Material Characterization
3.3.1 Tensile test
3.3.2 Flexural test
3.3.3 Impact test
3.3.4 Hardness test
3.3.5 Water absorption test
3.3.6 Fourier transforms infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
3.3.7 Scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis of the composite samples

CHAPTER FOUR
4.1 Results and Discussion
4.1.1 Baobab and sisal fibres
4.2Physical andmechanical properties of the various composites
4.2.1 Effect of the fibre loading on the mechanical and water absorption of untreated monolithic baobab fibre reinforced composites
4.2.1.1 Effect of fibre loading on tensile strength of the composites
4.2.1.2 Effect of Fibre loading on modulus of elasticity (MOE) of the composites
4.2.1.3 Effect of fibre loading on elongation at break of the composites
4.2.1.4 Effect of fibre loading on impact strength of composites
4.2.1.5 Effect of fibre loading on flexural strength of composites
4.2.1.6 Effect of fibre loading on hardness of the composites
4.2.1.7 Effect of fibre loading on water absorption of the composites
4.2.2 Effect of NaOH treatment on the properties of baobab LDPE composites
4.2.2.1 Effect of fibre treatment on the tensile strength of baobab composite
4.2.2.2 Effect of fibre treatment on the modulus of elasticity of baobab composite
4.2.2.3 Effect of fibre treatment on the elongation at break of baobab composite
4.2.2.4 Effect of fibre treatment on the impact strength of baobab composite
4.2.2.5 Effect of fibre treatment on the flexural strength of baobab composite
4.2.2.6 Effect of fibre treatment on the hardness strength of baobab composite
4.2.2.7 Effect of fibre treatment on the water absorption of baobab composite
4.2.3 Effect of hybridization ratio on the properties of untreated baobab/sisal reinforced composites
4.2.3.1 Effect of sisal-baobab fibres hybridization on tensile strength of composite
4.2.3.2 Effect of sisal-baobab fibre hybridization on MOE of composite
4.2.3.3 Effect of sisal-baobab fibres hybridization on the elongation at break of the composite
4.2.3.4 Effect of sisal-baobab fibres hybridization on the impact strength of the composite
4.2.3.5 Effect of sisal-baobab fibres hybridization on the flexural strength of the composite
4.2.3.6 Effect of sisal-baobab fibre hybridization on the hardness of the composite
4.2.3.7 Effect of sisal-baobab fibre hybridization on the water absorption capacity of the composite
4.2.4 Effect of NaOH treatment on sisal/baobab fibres hybrid reinforced LDPE composites
4.2.4.1Effect of fibre treatment on the tensile strength of hybridized composite
4.2.4.2Effect of fibre treatment on the modulus of elasticity (MOE) of the hybridized composite
4.2.4.3 Effect of fibre treatment on the elongation at break of thehybridized composite
4.2.4.4 Effect of fibre treatment on the impact strength of the hybridized composite
4.2.4.5 Effect of fibre treatment on the flexural strength of the hybridized composite
4.2.4.6 Effect of fibre treatment on the hardness strength of the hybridized composite
4.2.4.7 Effect of fibre treatment on the water absorption of the hybridized composite
4.2.5FTIR spectra analysis of baobab fibre
4.2.5.1 Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)of untreated and treated baobab fibre
4.2.6 Scanning electron microscope (SEM) of untreated and treated baobab fibre composite
4.2.6.1 Surface morphology of untreated and 8 wt% NaOH treated baobab fibre composite
4.2.6.2 Surface morphology of untreated and the treated 50:50 sisal:baobab hybrid composites

CHAPTER FIVE
5.0 Conclusions and Recommendations
5.1 Conclusions
5.2 Recommendation
References
Appendices



Abstract

In this work, the properties of baobab/sisal fibre reinforced low density polyethylene hybrid composites were studied. The effect of fibre loading and fibre treatment with varying sodium hydroxide (NaOH)concentration on the composite properties was investigated. The developed composites were characterized for tensile strength, modulus of elasticity (MOE), elongation at break, hardness and impact strength.Analysis of the results showed that, for the monolithic composite,10 wt% baobab fibre loading had the bestmechanical property compared to other baobab fibre loadings, with tensile strength and MOEof 8.28 MPa and 127 MParespectively.The result ofNaOH treatment showed that 8 wt% treated fibre composite exhibited the best tensile strength, MOE, impact strength and the least percentage water absorption of 14.54 MPa, 245 MPa, 4.4 J/mm2 and 1.8% respectively.On hybridization with sisal, it was observed that the100% sisal fibre composite exhibited higher tensile strength and MOEof 12.47 MPa, 262.85 MPa, and the least percentage water absorption capacity of 0.37% but for both the hybrid were higher than the monolithic composite. The result of the NaOH treated hybrid composite showed that 6 wt% NaOH treated sisal/baobab fibre exhibited the best tensile strength, MOE and percentage water absorption of 17.08 MPa, 279.40 MPa, and 0.18% respectively which were higher than that of the monolithic sisal fibre reinforced composites. The fourier transforms infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) analysis of untreated and treated baobab fibre showed that there was reduction in the hemicelluloses in the NaOH treated baobab fibres as indicated by the band at2277–2274 cm-1representing C=O stretching of hemicelluloses. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis showed that composite produced from untreated fibre had more cracks and voids, possibly due topoor interaction between the fibre and low density polyethylene matrix, resulting in lower mechanical properties.The composite have properties whichsuggest their suitability for application in deck boards, dash board, rear seat barriers and guardrails systemsto replace the hardwood and metals currently used hence, preserving the environment.




CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of Study

Composites are multifunctional material systems that provide characteristics not obtainable from any discrete materials. They are cohesive structures made by physically combining two or more compatible materials, different in composition and characteristics and sometimes in form (Prankash et al., 2009). These materials consist of the matrix and reinforcement (Mohiniet al., 2011). The constituents can be wholly natural or synthetic and sometimes the combination of the two.

Synthetic-based fibre composites are commercially appealing because they can be used to develop products with known properties to meet a variety of diverse applications. However, these materials represent an environmental liability both in production and upon disposal. In the past years, growing environmental pollution has called for the use of natural materials for different applications. This has been influenced by the ever increasing demand for newer, stiffer, recyclable, fire repellant, less expensive and yet lighter-weight materials in fields such as aerospace, transportation, construction and packaging industries (Duigou et al., 2008). Meanwhile, natural fibres reinforced polymer composites represent an opportunity to partially minimize on the environmental impacts by integrating biodegradable fibres such as flax, hemp, sisal, and wood particles in place of synthetic fibres such as glass, carbon or steel in composite materials production (Alabi, 2011).

Natural fibres, such as cotton, flax, hemp, kenaf etc. or fibres from recycled wood or waste paper, or even by-products from food crops are examples of fibres being used for the production of polymer composite materials (Fowler et al., 2006). Hence composites made with natural fibres are known as “green composites” (Guduri et al., 2006)....


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