A Study on the Curing Characteristics, Tensile, Fatigue, and Morphological Properties of Alkali-Treated Palm Kernel Shell-Filled Natural Rubber Composites

Shuhairiah Daud, Hanafi Ismail, Azhar Abu Bakar

Abstract


Effects of alkali treatment of palm kernel shells (PKS) were investigated relative to curing characteristics, tensile properties, and fatigue of PKS-filled natural rubber (NR) composites. The PKS powder was subjected to alkali treatment using 5% sodium hydroxide. The treated PKS was incorporated into the NR composites during compounding, with the concentrations of the composites ranging from 5 to 20 phr. The properties of treated PKS-filled NR composites were compared with those of untreated PKS-filled NR composites. The cure times, scorch times, and maximum torque values were all lower for alkali-treated PKS/NR composites compared with those of untreated PKS/NR composites. Tensile strength and elongation at break were higher for treated PKS composites, while the moduli (M100 and M300) were lower than those of untreated PKS/NR composites. The fatigue tests for treated PKS/NR composites also showed higher fatigue values than the untreated PKS/NR composites. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that the higher tensile strength, elongation at break, and fatigue values of treated PKS/NR composites were due to the removal of hemicellulose and lignin in PKS fillers. This removal increased in the surface roughness of the filler and led to improved rubber-filler adhesion.

Keywords


Palm kernel shell; Alkali treatment; Tensile strength; Cure time; Fatigue; FTIR

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