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Studies on O2 plasma modification and fluoroalkyl functional siloxane (FAS) coating effects on natural lignocellulosic coir fibers and development of coir based polypropylene (PP)/ethylene-propylene-diene rubber (EPDM) composites

Abstract : In recent years, the development of advanced high performance composite materials made from natural fibers was mainly focussed on achieving high modulus and strength materials. However, the high strength is not sufficient, as some of the materials possess brittle nature (the overall elongation to fracture is small), and one of the more important performance criterion should be the ability to absorb energy and resist impact loadings. The manner in which a composite material deforms and subjected to fractures depends upon both the chemical and mechanical properties of three basic constituents: the fibers, the matrix and a fine interphase region (sometimes referred to as the interface) responsible for assuring the bond between the matrix and fiber. Due to its unique properties and abundant in nature, lignocellulose based fibers are emerging as a preferred choice for scientific, engineering and commercial communities who were looking for sustainable materials in various applications. Though these fibers possess several advantages over synthetic fillers, adhesion between the fiber and matrix, moisture repellence, flame retardant properties etc are still challenging areas to be addressed. In this context a novel technique based on spray-dry- cure method to establish a hydrophobic sol-gel coating on the lignocellulosic coir fiber surface. The surface modification of lignocellulosic coir fibers was done with the use of low-pressure oxygen plasma, followed by the application of a spray-dry-cure sol–gel coating with the water and oil repellent organic–inorganic hybrid precursor fluoroalkyl-functional siloxane (FAS), with the aim of creating the extremely hydrophobic coir fiber surface. The plasma pre-treatment increased the effective concentration of the FAS network on the lignocellulosic coir fibers. The effectiveness of plasma treatment and FAS sol gel coating on the coir fiber was studied using different characterisation techniques such as contact angle analysis, water absorption studies, scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The mechanical, morphological, rheological and thermal properties of different PP/EPDM blend formulations were carried out to find out optimum blend composition for composite preparation. The resulting composites based on polypropylene, EPDM and coir possess high impact strength properties and comparable tensile and flexural properties. The mechanical, morphological, rheological and thermal properties of PP/EPDM/Coir composites were studied in detail to examine the stability of the composites.
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Praveen Kosappallyillom Muraleedharan. Studies on O2 plasma modification and fluoroalkyl functional siloxane (FAS) coating effects on natural lignocellulosic coir fibers and development of coir based polypropylene (PP)/ethylene-propylene-diene rubber (EPDM) composites. Materials. Université de Bretagne Sud, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018LORIS495⟩. ⟨tel-01994907⟩

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