Effect of Modification with Methyl Methacrylate on the Mechanical Properties of Plectocomia kerrana Rattan

Lili Shang, Zehui Jiang, Xing’e Liu, Genlin Tian, Jianfeng Ma, Shumin Yang

Abstract


This study aims to evaluate the mechanical properties of rattan/polymer composites prepared by polymerization with methyl methacrylate (MMA). The P. kerrana rattan samples were impregnated in a vacuum system and polymerized in an oven at 60 °C for 8 h, using 0.5 wt.% of azobisisobutyronitrile as a catalyst. The macro-mechanical properties of the treated and untreated samples were analyzed. The bending modulus and strength of the treated rattan increased by 206% and 215%, respectively. Additionally, the compressive modulus and strength increased by 109% and 107%, compared to untreated rattan. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images showed that MMA penetrated the cell lumen. Furthermore, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis revealed that MMA diffused into the parenchyma and vessels, but it was not found in the fiber wall. Thus, it can be inferred that the improvement in the mechanical properties of treated rattan was mainly caused by the strengthened parenchyma and vessels. Modification with MMA was shown to be an effective way to enhance the macro-mechanical properties of P. kerrana.

Keywords


Plectocomia kerrana; Methyl methacrylate; Mechanical properties; Modification

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