Reinforcement of Epoxy Thermoset Composite with Ethyl Acetate-Treated Cellulose Microfibers from Sugarcane Bagasse

Author : Acda, Joab Cahigas
Major Adviser : Borines, Myra G.
Major Co-Adviser : Manalo, Ronniel D.
Committee Members : Alcantara, Jerico Z.; Movillon, Jovita L.
Year : 2019
Month : June
Type : Thesis
Degree: BS
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In this study, the effects of reinforcement of cellulose microfibers from bagasse to epoxy thermoset were studied in terms flexural strength (MPa) and water absorption (%). Fiber loading (1 %, 3 %, and 5 %) and curing time (45 minutes, 60 minutes and 90 minutes) were varied. Kraft pulping was utilized to extract the pulp from bagasse and subsequent processes were done to get alpha cellulose. The cellulose was size reduced to be in the micro-size and subsequently treated with ethyl acetate for better dispersion. Observation under a light microscope confirmed the identity of the sample with the average diameter and length of 18.01 μm and 459.41 μm, respectively. Results showed that some specimen yielded more favorable properties of the reinforced sample compared to the neat epoxy. This was evident especially at 3 % fiber loading and 45 minutes curing time where the highest flexural strength was recorded, compared to the 59.69 MPa of neat epoxy at 60 minutes curing time. Furthermore, the general values of the water absorption of the reinforced samples were lower than that of the neat ones – which indicated favorable results. ANOVA also revealed that all the factors were statistically significant as the p-values were all computed to be lower than 0.05. The interaction of the two factors also greatly affected the response based on the statistical values.

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