Submitted to: Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2012
Publication Date: 11/12/2012
Citation: Bajwa, D., Bajwa, S., Holt, G.A. 2012. Effect of coupling agents on the weathering characteristics of bio-fiber composites. Proceedings of The Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops 24th Annual Meeting. November 12-15, 2012, Sonoma, CA. p. 48. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Bio-fiber polymer composites (BFPC) are composite materials made from a thermoplastic or thermoset resin (substrate) with cellulosic fibers as fillers or reinforcement. BFPC have shown a significant growth in the last decade as a building product, automotive parts, and landscaping products. BFPC combine the superior mechanical properties of cellulosic fibers and the long-term performance of plastic. Some of the advantages of BFPC include low cost, recyclability, minimal health hazards, low density, and high strength to weight ratio. A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of coupling and compatabilizing agents on the long term performance of cotton burr/stem fraction (CBS) of cotton gin waste as cellulosic fiber reinforcement in the polymer composite matrix. The composites were manufactured commercially using 5 different treatments. The base recipe constituted of 50% filler, 40% thermoplastic, 6% lubricant and two levels of coupling and compatibilizing agents. The samples were subjected to accelerated UV weathering for 2200 hours following the guidelines established in ASTM D 6662 and ASTM G 154. The weathered samples were further tested to determine the changes in physical and mechanical properties of CBS fiber reinforced polymer composites treated with additives. Physical properties tested include water absorption, color shift, surface defects, and polymer degradation. Mechanical properties tested were flexural modulus, flexural strength, impact, hardness, and coefficient of thermal expansion. Overall, this study reports the effect of specialty additives on the long term performance CBS based bio-fiber composites.