The Tribological and Compressive Behavior of Natural Rubber Composites Reinforced with Surface Modified Banana Fibers
Keywords:Rubber Composites, Banana fiber, Tribology, Hardness, Compressive Strength, Ecofriendly, Natural fiber, Natural Rubber
Â Use of synthetic and non-biodegradable fibers and materials in engineering product development has led to a situation that their waste disposal has become a serious environmental problem. This led the researchers to look into natural materials which are ecofriendly, non-toxic, biodegradable and cheap, as a viable replacement of synthetic and toxic materials. The objective of the present work is to design and develop a new composite material using natural materials only- 40% v/v banana fiber as reinforcement in natural rubber. Banana fibers having four surface modifications are used for the composite making- raw fibers, alkalized fibers, rubber pre-impregnated raw fibers, and rubber impregnated alkalized fibers. In addition to the above four composites, two specimens added with 10% w/w coconut shell powder also made, to study their influence on the composites. A total of six specimens made and their wear resistance, hardness, and compressive strength are tested. All the composites developed exhibited an impressive increase in wear resistance, hardness, and compressive strengths. Best wear resistance exhibited by raw banana fiber-rubber followed by rubber pre-impregnated fiber with coconut shell powder- rubber composite. Maximum hardness is shown by raw fiber with coconut shell powder-rubber composite (192% more than pure rubber). The raw fiber impregnated with rubber- rubber composite with coconut shell powder exhibited the best compressive strength, followed by the raw fiber with coconut shell powder composite.
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