Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 74–82 | Cite as

The Effect of Fiber Pretreatment and Compatibilizer on Mechanical and Physical Properties of Flax Fiber-Polypropylene Composites

  • Majid Soleimani
  • Lope Tabil
  • Satyanarayan Panigrahi
  • Anthony Opoku
Original Paper

Abstract

Recently, investigations have been conducted on the use of natural fibers as reinforcement in low-melting point thermoplastics to improve mechanical properties of composites. However, due to some limitations of natural fibers, composite formulation and processing parameters must be controlled to produce a product with improved properties. This study was conducted to investigate the influence of flax fiber loading, use of compatibilizer and pretreatment on physical and mechanical properties of compression-molded composite. In this study, untreated and treated (sodium hydroxide-treated and mild-bleached flax fibers) fibers at 15% and 30% of the total product mass were used in formulations. To investigate the effect of compatibilizer on product properties, maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene (MAPP) was added at 5% by mass in the formulations. After extrusion of composites formulations, they were formed using compression molding. Results indicated that using flax fiber in composites without pretreatment and compatibilizer could result into products with inferior physical and mechanical properties; this could be compensated by the use of a compatibilizer. However, the use of compatibilizer had some negative effects on some other physical properties like color and melt flow index (MFI).

Keywords

Flax Fiber Polypropylene Composite Compression molding 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Majid Soleimani
    • 1
  • Lope Tabil
    • 1
  • Satyanarayan Panigrahi
    • 1
  • Anthony Opoku
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural and Bioresource EngineeringUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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