Effect of Hollow Glass Microspheres on the Morphology, Rheology and Crystallinity of Short Bamboo Fiber-Reinforced Hybrid Polypropylene Composite
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Light-weight and high-strength polymer composites have attracted the special attention of automotive and aerospace sectors since they offer advantages such as less fuel consumption and higher fuel efficiency. In the present study, an effort has been made to prepare such polymer composites using natural fiber and very low-density hollow inorganic particles. The use of hollow glass microspheres (HGM) as a potential filler particle for making light-weight hybrid polymer composites was investigated. Polypropylene (PP) and maleic anhydride-grafted-polypropylene (in 9:1 ratio) constituted the base matrix (BM). For strength reinforcement, alkali-treated short bamboo fibers (SBF) were employed, while for making the composite material light in weight, HGM were incorporated. Silane treatment of HGM by (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane was performed to enhance interfacial adhesion with BM. Adequate wetting of HGM and SBF was evident from the SEM images of cryo-fractured samples. A 14% increase in tensile strength was observed in comparison to virgin PP for the composite with 5 wt.% HGM, and a desirable decrease in density was observed for all the composite samples with increasing HGM content. Improvement in hardness but a marginal decrease in impact strength due to HGM fillers was observed. Rheological analysis of the composite melt samples showed an apparent increase in the complex modulus with increasing HGM content. Thermal analysis of the composites revealed a significant impact of hybrid fillers on the crystallinity, with SBF showing a minimal effect while HGM reducing it significantly. Wide-angle x-ray diffraction spectra showed changes in the crystal structure of the composite with noticeable β-form peaks.
The authors are grateful to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India for financial support.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this paper.
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