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Effect of Groundnut Shell Powder on the Mechanical Properties of Recycled Polyethylene and Its Biodegradability

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Document pages: 13 pages

Abstract: Natural fiber reinforced composites have gained considerable attention particularly in the manufacturingindustry owing to their light weight, corrosion resistance, abundance, and biodegradability.In this work, alkaline treated and untreated groundnut shell powder (GSP) was used to reinforcerecycled polyethylene to produce GSP-recycled polyethylene composites with improved mechanicalproperties and biodegradability. GSP with particle sizes of 0 - 300 μm and 300 - 600 μmwas used in different proportions: 5 , 10 , 15 , 20 , 25 , and 30 wt. The fiber was immersedfor 5 hours in a 10 wt NaOH solution. Tensile and hardness test data showed an improvementin mechanical properties of the treated fiber composites. Results of water absorptiontest also showed that treated GSP-recycled polyethylene composites had a lower rate of water absorptionthan the untreated GSP-recycled polyethylene composites. Through Fourier transforminfrared spectroscopy, disappearance of characteristics peaks of hemicellulose and lignin was observed.Growth of fungi on the fiber-reinforced composites was observed, which was evidence thatGSP-recycled polyethylene composite was biodegradable. Finally, SEM micrographs showed uniformdistribution of treated fibers in the polymer matrix; this explained the observed improvementin the mechanical properties of treated GSP-recycled polyethylene composites.

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