Hybrid polyethylene composites with recycled carbon fibres and hemp fibres produced by rotational moulding
Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/15377
This study assessed polyethene composites produced by rotational moulding with hybrid reinforcement using recycled carbon fibre (RCF) and hemp fibre (HF). First, the RCF was treated with nitric acid to introduce hydroxyl groups on the fibres’ surface and was characterised by infrared spectroscopy and microscopy analyses. Although the fibre surface treatment improved the tensile properties of the composites, the use of grafted maleic anhydride polyethylene (MAPE) as a coupling agent was more effective in improving the interfacial bonding between the fibres and the matrix. Alkali-treated hemp fibres were then used in combination with RCF to produce rotationally moulded composites with an overall fibre content of 10 wt.% but with different ratios of HF/RCF, namely, (20/80) and (50/50). The results showed that the addition of RCF increased the composite’s Young’s modulus compared to neat PE, regardless of the fibre treatment. Similarly, the hybrid composites showed superior Young’s moduli than the HF–PE composites through the increase in the RCF content. It was also observed that adding RCF reduced the void size within the final composites compared to the HF–PE composites, which contributed to the greater performance of the hybrid composites compared to their natural counterparts.
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