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THE CURE CHARACTERISTICS AND MECHANICAL BEHAVIOUR OF BAMBOO FIBRE FILLED NATURAL RUBBER COMPOSITE

Articles

Journal/Conference:

PROGRESS IN POLYMER AND RUBBER TECHNOLOGY

Language:

English

Author:

Zainathul Akhmar Salim Abdul Salim; Nurul Aizan Mohd Zaini; Mohd Muhiddin Ahmad; Siti Sarah Jamil; Zainuddin Nor Hazwani

Year:

2013

Volume:

812

Pages:

53-59

Keywords:

Carbon Black; Bamboo Fibre; Natural Rubber; Curing Characteristic; Mechanical Behaviour

For decades, carbon black is the most preferred reinforcing filler in rubber industry especially in tyre manufacturing. Carbon black which originated from crude oil is a non renewable source that may diminish over time. Therefore, an alternative from natural source is needed to replace carbon black as the reinforcing agent in rubber industries without so much affecting the physical and mechanical properties of the final products. Since bamboo is an abundant natural source in Malaysia and proved to be one of the strongest natural fibres comparable to other building materials like steel, concrete, and timber that have been subjected to lot of studies, bamboo seems to be the best alternative to replace carbon black in reinforcing rubber. Bamboo chips were first treated using alkalinisation method and dried before ground to 180-250 mu m to improve the interfacial adhesion with the rubber matrix. The bamboo fibres were then incorporated into rubber through compounding process at different loading. The cure characteristics of the composites were determined at 150 degrees C using rheometer. The curing times were then used to vulcanise the rubber compounds using a hot press. The mechanical behaviour of the bamboo fibre filled natural rubber composite like tensile strength, elongation at break, and hardness are then evaluated by taking the optimum loading of carbon black as the comparison. The strength of the composite were decreased and become harder as the fibre loading were increased. The weak adhesion of fibres to rubber matrix and uneven particle size distribution of fibres contribute to the fracture of the composites. These can be observed through the surface morphological analysis of the composite by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM).