Description: A recent trend in the development of renewable and biodegradable materials has led to the development of composites from renewal sources such as natural fibers. This agricultural activity generates a large amount of waste in the form of peanut shells. The motivation for this research is based on the utilization of peanut shells as a viable source for the manufacture of biocomposites. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a plastic largely used in the industry due to its durability, high strength to density ratio, and thermal stability. This research focuses in the mechanical and thermal properties of HDPE/peanut shell composites of different qualities and compositions. The samples obtained were subjected to dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and mechanical tensile strength tests. TO prepare the samples for analysis, the peanut shells were separated into different mesh sizes and then mixed with HDPE at different concentrations. The results showed that samples with fiber size number 10 exhibited superior strength modulus of 1.65 GPa versus results for HDPE alone at 1.32 GPa. The analysis from the previous experiments helped to determine that the fiber size number 10 at 5%wt. ratio in HDPE provides the most optimal mechanical and thermal results. From tensile tests the highest modulus of elasticity of 1.33 GPa was achieved from the samples of peanut shells size number 10 in HDPE at 20%wt. ratio, while the results for HDPE alone were only of 0.8 GPa. The results proved the hypothesis that the addition of peanut shells to HDPE enhances both the thermal and mechanical properties of the composite.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Londoño Ceballos, Mauricio
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Partner: UNT Libraries