The effect of partial replacement of carbon black by Palmyra palm fiber on the cure characteristics, physico-mechanical and swelling properties of natural rubber vulcanizates was studied. The Palmyra palm fibers were extracted, treated and characterized so as to determine pH, moisture content, and ash content, loss on ignition, conductivity, cellulose, lignin, Hemicellulose, cellulose/lignin ratio and Acid soluble lignin. The functional groups in the Palmyra palm fiber was also determined using FTIR. The Palmyra palm powder with an average particle size of 75 μm was used in this study. The natural rubber/carbon black/Palmyra palm fiber (NR/CB/PPF) composites having eight different loadings, 0/70, 10/60, 20/50, 30/40, 40/30, 50/20, 60/10, 70/0, were prepared using a laboratory size two roll mill. The maximum Torque of NR/CB/PPF composites increased with increasing commercial filler loading ratio. The scorch time and cure time of NR/CB/PPF composites decreased as the ratio of CB loading increased. The tensile strength, modulus of elongation, tear strength and abrasion resistance of all the composites increased as the commercial filler loading ratio increased. This is due to the presence of the commercial filler which gave a better filler interaction. Also this behavior can be attributed to the particle size and surface area of the fillers used as the fillers with small particle size usually have a larger surface area which supports better filler-rubber interaction. The hardness increased as the palmyra palm fiber loading increased. The elongation at break decreases as carbon black filler loading increases except for the composite with CB/PPF ratio of 10/60. The effect of filler loading on the swelling behavior of NR/CB/PPF composites was also investigated in aromatic and aliphatic compounds. Result showed that the composites with more carbon black has less absorption than those with more palmyra palm fiber showing that the compounds with more carbon black has better interaction than those with palmyra palm fiber.
Nwabanne, J., Igbokwe, P. and Ezeonyebuchi, E. (2015), "Effect of palmyra palm fiber filler on properties of natural rubber vulcanizate", World Journal of Engineering, Vol. 11 No. 6, pp. 565-574. https://doi.org/10.1260/1708-5222.214.171.1245
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