INVESTIGATION OF ECO-FRIENDLY CELLULOSIC NANOPARTICLES POTENTIAL AS REINFORCEMENT AGENT IN THE PRODUCTION OF NATURAL RUBBER COMPOSITES
Keywords:Mechanical Properties, Cellulosic Nanoparticles, Rubber-Matrix Composites, Carbon Black
This research focuses on the use of cellulosic nanoparticles obtained from coconut husk, bamboo and cotton linter as reinforcing phase in natural rubber composites with the objective to study the effect of these cellulosic particles and loading ratio on the mechanical, thermal and morphological properties of the resultant composites. Vulcanized natural rubber composites were prepared using cellulosic nanoparticles obtained from bamboo (BNC), coconut husk (CHNC), cotton linter (CLNC) and carbon black (CB) as reinforcing material/fillers. These reinforcing material/fillers were compounded alongside with vulcanizing agents using two roll mixing mill and subsequently cured in order to introduce crosslinks into rubber chains. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) revealed that the free volume holes in the neat rubber were drastically reduced by incorporation of these nanoparticles into the rubber matrix. The differential scanning calorimetric (DSC) study showed a slight shift in the melting temperature of bamboo based composite from 360 to 350 oC while thermo gravimetric analysis (TGA) showed that the incorporation of bamboo and cotton linter based nanoparticles shifted the thermal stability of neat rubber matrix from 266 to 299 and 300 oC respectively. Coconut husk based composites showed a trend of increase in tensile strength from 1.8 to 3.82 MPa with filler loading of 0 to 25 weight %, while bamboo, cotton linter and carbon black based nanocomposites gave their highest values of 3.16, 3.92 and 4.50 MPa respectively at filler content of 30 weight %.Cellulosic nanoparticles obtained from biomass studied in this experiment can replace or serve as alternative materials to carbon black especially in moderate load bearing rubber articles.
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