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Materials 2017, 10(8), 872; doi:10.3390/ma10080872

Use of Almond Shells and Rice Husk as Fillers of Poly(Methyl Methacrylate) (PMMA) Composites

General and Inorganic Chemistry Unit, School of Pharmacy, Università degli Studi di Camerino, via S. Agostino 1, 62032 Camerino (MC), Italy
Teuco S.p.A., via Virgilio Guzzini 2, 62010 Montelupone (MC), Italy
School of Architecture and Design, Università degli Studi di Camerino, viale della Rimembranza, 63100 Ascoli Piceno, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 June 2017 / Revised: 8 July 2017 / Accepted: 15 July 2017 / Published: 28 July 2017
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In recent years, wood fibres have often been applied as the reinforcement of thermoplastic materials, such as polypropylene, whereas their use in combination with thermosetting resin has been less widespread. This study concerns the production of PMMA-based composites by partly replacing alumina trihydrate (ATH) with wood waste fillers, namely rice husks and almond shells, which would otherwise be disposed by incineration. The amount of filler introduced was limited to 10% as regards rice husks and 10 or 15% almond shells, since indications provided by reactivity tests and viscosity measurements did not suggest the feasibility of total replacement of ATH. As a matter of fact, the introduction of these contents of wood waste filler in PMMA-based composite did not result in any significant deterioration of its mechanical properties (Charpy impact, Rockwell M hardness and flexural performance). Some reduction of these properties was only observed in the case of introduction of 15% almond shells. A further issue concerned the yellowing of the organic filler under exposure to UV light. On the other hand, a very limited amount of water was absorbed, never exceeding values around 0.6%, despite the significant porosity revealed by the filler’s microscopic evaluation. These results are particularly interesting in view of the application envisaged for these composites, i.e., wood replacement boards. View Full-Text
Keywords: PMMA; almond shells; rice husk; mechanical characterization; viscosity measurements PMMA; almond shells; rice husk; mechanical characterization; viscosity measurements

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Sabbatini, A.; Lanari, S.; Santulli, C.; Pettinari, C. Use of Almond Shells and Rice Husk as Fillers of Poly(Methyl Methacrylate) (PMMA) Composites. Materials 2017, 10, 872.

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