Reinforcement of Epoxy Thermoset Composite Using Microfibers from Pineapple Crown Leaves

Author : Alea, Danpol Elly Constantino
Major Adviser : Sanchez, Denise Ester S.
Major Co-Adviser : Manalo, Ronniel D.
Committee Members : Guerrero, Gino Apollo M.; Migo, Veronica P.
Year : 2019
Month : June
Type : Thesis
Degree: BS
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Pineapple waste is one of the major agricultural wastes in the country. In response to this, the study utilized extracted microfibers from pineapple crown leaves as reinforcing material for epoxy. Epoxy are thermosets with inherent properties but has problems because of its brittle characteristic. Effects of fiber loading (1% v/v, 3% v/v and 5% v/v) and curing time (0.5 hour, 1 hour and 1.5 hours) on flexural strength and water absorptivity were determined. Scanning Electron Microscope showed that the average fiber diameter was 4.17 micrometers. While, light microscopy gave an average diameter of 6.9 micrometers with an average length of 327.5 micrometers, implying that microfibers were produced. Using 2-way ANOVA, it was reported that effects curing time and parameter interaction were statistically significant on flexural strength, (p values of 0.003 and 0.001, respectively) while fiber loading is insignificant (p = 0.116). In terms of water absorptivity, effects of fiber loading and parameter interaction were significant (p values of 0.027 and 0.003, respectively) while curing time is insignificant (p = 0.594). Properties of reinforced composites were also compared to neat epoxy and results showed that with 1.5 hours of curing time and 3 % fiber loading, the mechanical property of epoxy was improved while the water absorptivity of epoxy was significantly reduced, making it the best combination.

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