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Microstructural, functional groups and textural analysis of expanded polyethylene reinforced polystyrene composites with recycled aluminium as ternary component

Sulyman A. Abdulkareem, Maryam T. Abdulkareem, Joshua O. Ighalo, Adewale G. Adeniyi and Mutiu K. Amosa

Abstract

The aim of this study is to utilise recycled aluminium, expanded polyethylene (EPE) and expanded polystyrene (EPS) to develop a ternary composite. The study was a preliminary investigation into the microstructural, functional groups and textural properties of the novel material. The material was characterised by Fourier Transform Infra-Red Spectroscopy (FTIR), Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-ray analysis (SEM-EDX) and Branueur-Emmet-Teller analysis (BET). The shifts in the FTIR peaks for each of the polymer feedstock in comparison with the binary composite indicated chemical interactions between them. For the ternary composites, there were shifting of peaks as the proportion of the aluminium increased in the composites, suggesting the influence of aluminium on the curing process. Beyond 20% Al filler, there were no significant functional group changes in the composite. SEM revealed that an increase in aluminium filler percentage led to better interfacial adhesion and dispersion. BET revealed that the blend of polystyrene and powdered EPE reduces the surface area, while the introduction of the aluminium particles within the range observed increases the surface area of the hybrid composites formed. As the dispersion of aluminium increased, pore volume increased while pore size decreased.


Corresponding authors: Joshua O. Ighalo, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria; and Department of Chemical Engineering, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, P. M. B. 5025, Awka, Nigeria, E-mail: ; and Adewale G. Adeniyi, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria, E-mail:

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

  4. Compliance with ethical standards: This article does not contain any studies involving human or animal subjects.

Appendix

Figure S1: 
FTIR of solvated polystyrene resin.

Figure S1:

FTIR of solvated polystyrene resin.

Figure S2: 
SEM micrograph for EPS/EPE ternary composite with 10% aluminium powder.

Figure S2:

SEM micrograph for EPS/EPE ternary composite with 10% aluminium powder.

Figure S3: 
SEM micrograph for EPS/EPE ternary composite with 15% aluminium powder.

Figure S3:

SEM micrograph for EPS/EPE ternary composite with 15% aluminium powder.

Figure S4: 
SEM micrograph for EPS/EPE ternary composite with 20% aluminium powder.

Figure S4:

SEM micrograph for EPS/EPE ternary composite with 20% aluminium powder.

Figure S5: 
SEM micrograph for EPS/EPE ternary composite filled 25% aluminium powder.

Figure S5:

SEM micrograph for EPS/EPE ternary composite filled 25% aluminium powder.

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Received: 2020-11-23
Accepted: 2022-01-05
Published Online: 2022-03-08
Published in Print: 2022-05-25

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