Main Article Content
In the present study, calotropis gigantea fiber (CGF)/polypropylene (PP) composites with four different weight percentages of CGFs (10, 20, 30, and 40%) were made by compression molding using the film stacking method. The CGF content in the composites was optimized and 40 wt% CGF content exhibited the best mechanical properties. Composites containing 40% of CGF improved tensile modulus and impact strength by 256.2% and 94%, respectively in comparison to virgin PP but achieved 41.8% at 30% CGF content in tensile strength. In our current work, the CGF surface was modified by alkaline treatment (ACGF), and alkaline pretreated CGF was modified with two types of silane coupling agents such as aminopropyltrimethoxy silane (AS) and tetramethoxyorthosilicate (TS) to improve the mechanical performance of PP/CGF composite. For PP/CGF composites, adding silane after alkali pretreatment improves the mechanical properties and subsequently the water absorption of the composites. This tendency has become further noticeable with the growth of CGF content. In this article the maximum mechanical properties of PP/ACGF/TS composites were achieved in 40 wt% CGF content, which showed 19.1% tensile modulus and 67.9% impact strength compared to PP/CGF composites but achieved 24.3% in 30% CGF content in tensile strength. The water absorption test showed that PP/ACGF/TS composites exhibit less water absorption than both PP/ACGF/AS and PP/CGF composites. The CGF surface morphologies and the fractured surfaces of the composites show an improvement in the interfacial CGF-PP adhesion of reinforced composites with alkali-pretreated silane-treated CGFs. The addition of magnesium hydroxide to PP/ACGF/AS and PP/ACGF/TS significantly reduced the horizontal combustion rate. DSC results showed that the addition of AS and TS for CGF resulted in higher crystallization, melting and crystallinity of the composites. The thermal stability of PP/ACGF/TS composite was higher than PP/ACGF/AS and higher than PP/ACGF composite.
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