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Efficient Hydrophobic Modification of Old Newspaper and Its Application in Paper Fiber Reinforced Composites

College of Materials and Energy, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 842;
Received: 21 March 2019 / Revised: 24 April 2019 / Accepted: 6 May 2019 / Published: 10 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio-Based Polymers for Engineered Green Materials)
PDF [7304 KB, uploaded 10 May 2019]


Paper fibers have gained broad attention in natural fiber reinforced composites in recent years. The specific problem in preparing paper fiber reinforced composites is that paper fibers easily become flocculent after pulverization, which increases difficulties during melt-compounding with polymer matrix and results in non-uniform dispersion of paper fibers in the matrix. In this study, old newspaper (ONP) was treated with a low dosage of gaseous methyltrichlorosilane (MTCS) to solve the flocculation. The modified ONP fibers were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TG). Then the modified ONP fibers and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) were extruded and pelletized to prepare ONP/HDPE composites via injection molding. Maleic anhydride-grafted polyethylene (MAPE) was added to enhance the interfacial bonding performance with the ultimate purpose of improving the mechanical strength of the composites. The mechanical properties such as tensile, flexural, and impact strength and the water absorption properties of the composite were tested. The results showed that the formation of hydrogen bonding between ONP fibers was effectively prevented after MTCS treatment due to the reduction of exposed –OH groups at the fiber surface. Excessive dosage of MTCS led to severe fiber degradation and dramatically reduced the aspect ratio of ONP fibers. Composites prepared with ONP fibers modified with 4% (v/w) MTCS showed the best mechanical properties due to reduced polarity between the fibers and the matrix, and the relatively long aspect ratio of treated ONP fibers. The composite with or without MAPE showed satisfactory water resistance properties. MTCS was proven to be a cheap and efficient way to pretreat old newspaper for preparing paper fiber reinforced composites. View Full-Text
Keywords: ONP fibers; silanization; composites; mechanical properties ONP fibers; silanization; composites; mechanical properties

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Zhang, W.; Gu, J.; Tu, D.; Guan, L.; Hu, C. Efficient Hydrophobic Modification of Old Newspaper and Its Application in Paper Fiber Reinforced Composites. Polymers 2019, 11, 842.

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