Some Mechanical Properties of Coconut Fiber Reinforced Polyethylene Composite to Control Environmental Waste in Ghana

George Amoako, Patrick Mensah-Amoah, Frederick Sam, Samuel S Sackey

Abstract


Polymer products have been applied in all spheres of life and their disposal after use has been a problem. In Ghana, non-biodegradable polymer products in the form of used water-sachet bags is littered everywhere. Coconut husk, which is a natural fiber, is also available as waste. We explore a means of recycling sachet-water bags and coconut husk to yield a useful product. A composite was formed by melting the polyethylene, into which was dispersed coconut fiber, and then allowed to set. Varied masses of fiber were added after which water absorption test, hardness/compressive and flexure tests were conducted on the composite product. The absorption rate of the composite increased with increasing composition of fiber, meaning that the porosity of the material was influenced by the amount of fiber. Increasing the fiber content increased the load needed to compress the sample, indicating an increase in the strength of the composite. The load-bearing capacity increased by 120 % when 450.5 g of fiber was added to the control sample, and further increased to 800 % when the fiber mass was increased to 804.4 g. With an amount of 100 g of fiber added to the polyethylene, the flexure increased by about 5.73 % and by about 31.46 % when 450 g of fiber was added. There was therefore improvement in the mechanical properties of the composite formed, and consequently such waste products can be put to use in applications like the production of ceilings, partition boards, automobile interiors and the likes.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/eer.v8n1p1

Copyright (c) 2018 George Amoako, Patrick Mensah-Amoah, Frederick Sam, Samuel S Sackey

License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

Energy and Environment Research   ISSN 1927-0569 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0577 (Online)  Email: eer@ccsenet.org


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