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Recycling 2016, 1(1), 205-218; doi:10.3390/recycling1010205

Upcycling Polymers and Natural Fibers Waste—Properties of a Potential Building Material

1
Instituto de Macromoléculas Professora Eloisa Mano (IMA), Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Avenida Horácio Macedo, 2030-Centro de Tecnologia, Bloco J, Cidade Universitária, Rio de Janeiro 21941-598, Brazil
2
Lehrstuhl für Polymere Werkstoffe, Universität Bayreuth, FAN A, 2. Stock, Universitätsstraße 30, Bayreuth 95447, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michele Rosano
Received: 29 April 2016 / Revised: 13 June 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 24 June 2016
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Abstract

Composites of recycled high-density polyethylene and micro fibres of sugarcane bagasse were studied, in order to create an upcycled material to produce masonry bricks. We ranged the polymer/filler ratio from 100–0 to 60%–40%. The materials were assessed through scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetry/derivative thermogravimetry, differential scanning calorimetry, rheological measurements and compressive strength test. The composites showed a good dispersion and adhesion of the filler into the polymeric matrix. There was no significant variation on the melting and crystallizing temperatures of the materials if compared to those of neat polymer, indicating that there was no relevant change in the average size of the polymeric crystals. We assumed that some transcrystallization has happened, because the degree of crystallinity of the composites increased to all filler contents, while the crystallizing temperature remained the same. There was a rise in the compressive moduli of the composites, ranging from 37% to 63%. The modulus at the crossover point and the complex viscosity also rose due to the fibres ratio. The results show that the combination of these materials led to the reinforcement of the compressive strength of the polymer, and have interesting properties as a potential building material. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymer composite; high-density polyethylene; compressive strength; rheology; recycling; sustainability polymer composite; high-density polyethylene; compressive strength; rheology; recycling; sustainability
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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MDPI and ACS Style

Cestari, S.P.; Mendes, L.C.; Altstädt, V.; Lopes, L.M.A. Upcycling Polymers and Natural Fibers Waste—Properties of a Potential Building Material. Recycling 2016, 1, 205-218.

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