EVALUATION OF THE EFFECT OF MERCERIZED WHITE CHICKEN FEATHER FIBRES ON THE MECHANICAL

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I O OLADELE
O O DARAMOLA
A M OKORO
J A OMOTOYINBO

Abstract

Despite the effectiveness and advantages of natural fibres as reinforcement in the production of composite materials, it has been observed that natural fibres have high affinity for moisture absorption and this can weaken the properties of the developed composites. So, there is need to modify the properties of the fibres so as to reduce the rate of absorption of moisture that pose advert effect on the mechanical properties when they are incorporated into materials for composite production. In this research, white chicken fibres from chicken feathers were mercerized and utilized to reinforce high density polyethylene HDPE for structural applications. The white chicken fibres were extracted from chicken feathers by trimming after which they were mercerized with 0.1 M NaOH solution. The mercerized and unmercerized fibres were analyzed to ascertain their crystallinity index and morphology by using X-Ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), respectively. The composites were developed by varying the fibres in a predetermined proportion of;2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 wt% with the HDPE matrix. Compression moulding process was used to produce the composite samples. The developed composite samples were characterized to ascertain their tensile and flexural properties in accordance with ASTM D3038M-08 and ASTM D7264M-07 standards, respectively. The morphology of the developed composites wasalso analyzed and it revealed that mercerization of the chicken feather fibres are potential means of enhancing the properties of their corresponding composites. From the results, it was observed that addition of 2 % white chicken feather fibre treated with sodium hydroxide (WFTNa2) gave the best values of 21.03 and 23.58 MPa for tensile and flexural strength at peak, respectively while WFTNa10 gave the best flexural modulus value of 190.50 MPa.  The composite samples from the mercerized chicken fibre displayed the best mechanical properties compared to the neat sample.

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References

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