Preparation of Thermoplastic Polyurethane-based Biocomposites through Injection Molding: Effect of the Filler Type and Content

Fatih Mengeloğlu, Vedat Çavuş

Abstract


The effects of lignocellulosic filler type and filler loading levels were investigated relative to selected properties of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)-based composites. Teak wood (TK), rice husks (RH), and microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) were used as lignocellulosic fillers at 15 wt% and 30 wt% filler loading levels. Test specimens were manufactured using both extrusion and injection molding, except for abrasion resistance samples that were manufactured using a compression molding process. Density, tensile, flexural, and impact properties, and hardness and abrasion resistance values, of the specimens were determined. The composites’ morphology was studied using scanning electron microscopy analysis; results showed all filler types and filler loading levels were affected by the TPU’s density and mechanical properties. The TPU composites were successfully produced using TK, RH, and MCC as lignocellulosic fillers. Regardless of filler type, addition of 15% filler to TPU yielded excellent mechanical properties. With 30% MCC filler, composite properties increased due to their higher surface area, while properties of TK- and RH-containing specimens were, at 30%, reduced. There was a proportional correlation between hardness and modulus, with both increasing with a rising filler loading level. Abrasion resistance of TPU decreased with the presence of filler. Regardless of filler type, abrasion resistance continued to drop at higher filler loading levels. Scanning electron micrographs showed better MCC distribution in the TPU matrix.

Keywords


Teak; Rice husk; Microcrystalline cellulose; Thermoplastic polyurethanes

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