Mechanical Properties of Oil Palm Fibre Reinforced Epoxy for Building Short Span Bridge
Oil palm industries generate at least 30 million tonnes of lignocellulosic biomass annually in the form of oil palm trunks (OPT), empty fruit bunches (EFB), oil palm fronds (OPF) and palm pressed fibres (PPF). At present, the biomass is either left to rot in the plantations to provide organic nutrients to the oil palm trees (mulching) or used as solid fuel in the boilers to generate steam and electricity at the mills. An oil palm plantation produces about 55 tonnes ha-1 yr-1 of total dry matter in the form of fibrous biomass as compared to only about 5.5 tonnes ha-1 yr-1 of palm oil and palm kernel oil.1 The fibrous biomass is yet to be commercially exploited. Technology development in the industry is still focused on process development and improvement rather than creating and inventing newer products for value-added application. The need for materials not harmful to the body but having appropriate properties has increased due to a lack of resources and increasing environmental pollution. Thus, composites prepared from recycled materials are actively being sought after. Many synthetic polymeric materials are produced by combining with various reinforcing fillers to improve their mechanical properties and obtain the desired properties. Among these reinforcing fillers, active research is under way concerning the use of lignocellulosic materials, which are among the most environmentally friendly agrowastes, as a substitute for synthetic materials. 3 Lignocellulosic materials offer many environmental benefits when used as reinforcing fillers for plastics, including their making the final product lightweight, decreasing the erosion of the manufacturing machinery, low cost, biodegradability, and absence of production of residue or toxic by-products when burnt.
KeywordsBiomass Steam Epoxy Polypropylene Malaysia
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