Assessment of Mechanical Properties of Hybrid Composites Based on Polypropylene and Vegetable Fibers

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I. O. Oladele
O. G. Agbabiaka
A. S. Ogunbadejo
M. A. Okoro

Abstract

This research aim at developing hybrid composites from natural fibers with improved mechanical properties targeted in applications where high strength to weight ratio is required. In this work, Homopolymer Polypropylene (PP) was used as matrix material while coconut (cocos nucifera) and sponge (luffa cylindrica) fibers were used as reinforcing material to produce hybrid composites and to evaluate their mechanical properties such as tensile and flexural properties. Selected fibers were locally sourced and extracted. Composites was developed by initially treating the fibers in one molar concentration of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) before mixing in predetermined proportion with polypropylene matrix using coconut/sponge fibers of 2/8, 4/6, 6/4 and 8/2 wt %. The development of hybrid composites was carried out by heating compression moulding technique. From the result of the mechanical properties that were performed on the samples, hybrid composite samples show the highest flexural and tensile strength when compared to monolithic composite samples. Furthermore, all the composites gave better results when compared to the unreinforced PP sample.

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