Rabboni Mike Government, Edozie Thompson Okeke, Azeez Taofik Oladimeji, Amechi Kingsley Ani, Okechukwu Dominic Onukwuli, Raphael Stone Odera
March 31, 2021
This paper was based on the application of novel breadfruit peel fiber (BFPF), a cheap agro-waste as reinforcer in low-density polyethylene matrix (LDPE) to produce breadfruit peel fiber-low-density-polyethylene composite (BFPF-LDPE) for industrial production. To achieve this, the influence of BFPF weight at different treatment routes on the mechanical properties and water absorption resistance of LDPE was examined. The BFPF was modified with sodium hydroxide (MS), sodium hydroxide/acetic acid (AM) and sodium hydroxide/acetic acid/maleated polyethylene (MM). The results showed that the treatment of BFPF with sodium hydroxide/acetic acid/maleated polyethylene gave better properties than composites produced with either sodium hydroxide or combination of sodium hydroxide/ acetic acid treatment, while untreated (UM) composite provided the poorest. This is a result of anhydride radical in MM which is absent in AM and MS. However, the tensile and impact strength for the crude LDPE indicated higher values than UM, MS, AM and MM of BFPF-LDPE composite, respectively. Furthermore, the tensile modulus, flexural strength and hardness of BFPF-LDPE composite after inclusion of UM, MS, AM and MM showed immense improvement as compared to the raw LDPE. The modified BFPF enhanced sorption resistance of the BFPF-LDPE composite. Therefore, the BFPF-LDPE composite of MM can be applied as an alternative material for the replacement of particle board in construction and automobile parts.