Performance and Evaluation of Low Cost Sugarcane Bagasse - Polypropylene Biocomposites as Candidate Material for Automotive Parcel Tray
Many auto manufacturers such as Mercedes Benz, Toyota and DaimlerChrysler have already embraced natural fiber composites into both interior and exterior parts and are looking to expand the uses of this composites. They have to balance the changing public demands of greater comfort, better driving performances, and higher safety standards with the environmental requirements. Based on the preliminary study using 20 to 30 wt.% NaOH treated sugarcane bagasse fibers to make biocomposites with polypropylene matrix, the tensile strength obtained was variably, in the range between 8.31 to 20.59 MPa. A further study was required to improve the strength of the composites in comparison with the specified flexural strength required by the industry for automotive parcel tray. The sugarcane bagasse fibers obtained from the sugar mill were used and alkali treated with 10% v/v NaOH at various soaking time of 2, 4, and 6 hours. Biocomposite samples were prepared from 25/75 wt.% ratio sugarcane fibers/polypropylene (PP). The highest tensile strength of 14.35 MPa was obtained from the samples with sugarcane fibers receiving two-hour alkali treatment. However, the highest flexural strength (37.78 MPa) was gained on the samples made from sugarcane fibers with 4 hours alkali treatment. This value has met the strength specification of two materials for current parcel trays which were made from monomaterial of polypropylene and woodboard composite which their flexural strengths were 35.6 MPa and 37.57 MPa, respectively. Structural studies using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) on the fracture surface of tensile tested samples show two different orientations of bagasse fibres in PP matrix, i.e. a group was in longitudinal orientation and other in transversal orientation.
J. Anggono et al., "Performance and Evaluation of Low Cost Sugarcane Bagasse - Polypropylene Biocomposites as Candidate Material for Automotive Parcel Tray", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 923, pp. 40-46, 2018