Quality of Life (Banja Luka) 1(2-4): 139-146

Utilization of Recycled Polymer Matrices For Production of Eco-Composites

Faculty of Technology, Goce DelĨev University,“Krste Misirkov” b.b. P.O. Box 201, 2000 Štip, Republic of Macedonia, Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy, Sts.Cyril & Methodius University, MK-1000 Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

Abstract: One of the big new areas of development of the advanced composite materials is in combining natural fi bers with thermoplastics for producing lightweight, environmentally friendly, cost-effective composite material. The aim of this work is to show the possibilities of recycling and reuse of thermoplastic polymer matrices with rice hulls (RH) and kenaf fi bres (KF) using the conventional techniques, extrusion and compression moulding. The matrices (polypropylene (PP) and poly(lactic) acid (PLA) ) were recycled one and two times and the fi bers/fi ller were compounded with recycled matrix. The processing and material properties have been studied on the composites with recycled matrix and compared to the composites with virgin matrix. Characterization of all composites includes mechanical, morphological and thermo-gravimetrical analysis. ?he fl exural properties for PP recycled based composites were held close to the fl exural properties for composite based on neat PP, but for PLA recycled based composite the fl exural properties are decreased for about 50%. The thermal stability of recycled matrices based composites is very similar to the thermal stability of the composites with virgin matrix. SEM analysis has shown that the fi llers/fi bers are covered by the recycled polymer matrix, indicated on the satisfi ed durability of the recycled polymer matrices. The obtained results have shown that both polymer matrices (biodegradable and no degradable) could be recycled with acceptable mechanical properties and they can be successfully used for production of eco-composites.

Keywords: eco-composites, polypropylene, poly(lactic acid), rice hulls, kenaf fi bers, extrusion compression moulding.

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