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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(9), 15344-15357; doi:10.3390/ijms150915344

The Influence of Green Surface Modification of Oil Palm Mesocarp Fiber by Superheated Steam on the Mechanical Properties and Dimensional Stability of Oil Palm Mesocarp Fiber/Poly(butylene succinate) Biocomposite

1
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2
Department of Bioprocess Technology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
3
Department of Chemistry, Centre For Defence Foundation Studies, National Defence University of Malaysia, Sungai Besi Camp, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 July 2014 / Revised: 28 July 2014 / Accepted: 15 August 2014 / Published: 29 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials)
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Abstract

In this paper, superheated steam (SHS) was used as cost effective and green processing technique to modify oil palm mesocarp fiber (OPMF) for biocomposite applications. The purpose of this modification was to promote the adhesion between fiber and thermoplastic. The modification was carried out in a SHS oven at various temperature (200–230 °C) and time (30–120 min) under normal atmospheric pressure. The biocomposites from SHS-treated OPMFs and poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) at a weight ratio of 70:30 were prepared by melt blending technique. The mechanical properties and dimensional stability of the biocomposites were evaluated. This study showed that the SHS treatment increased the roughness of the fiber surface due to the removal of surface impurities and hemicellulose. The tensile, flexural and impact properties, as well as dimensional stability of the biocomposites were markedly enhanced by the presence of SHS-treated OPMF. Scanning electron microscopy analysis showed improvement of interfacial adhesion between PBS and SHS-treated OPMF. This work demonstrated that SHS could be used as an eco-friendly and sustainable processing method for modification of OPMF in biocomposite fabrication. View Full-Text
Keywords: biocomposite; dimensional stability; mechanical properties; oil palm mesocarp fiber; poly(butylene succinate); superheated steam biocomposite; dimensional stability; mechanical properties; oil palm mesocarp fiber; poly(butylene succinate); superheated steam
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Then, Y.Y.; Ibrahim, N.A.; Zainuddin, N.; Ariffin, H.; Yunus, W.M.Z.W.; Chieng, B.W. The Influence of Green Surface Modification of Oil Palm Mesocarp Fiber by Superheated Steam on the Mechanical Properties and Dimensional Stability of Oil Palm Mesocarp Fiber/Poly(butylene succinate) Biocomposite. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 15344-15357.

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