This study investigates the morphological and physical/end-use properties of corn cob powder-filled recycled polypropylene composites. The composites were prepared by incorporating corn cob powder of particle sizes 150 µm, 300 µm and 425 µm respectively at filler loadings of 5 to 25 wt%. The properties were determined according to standard test procedures. Results showed that the incorporation of corn cob powder as filler resulted to enhancement of water absorption and solvent sorption, which were found to increase with both increase in filler loading and increase in filler particle size, probably due to the hydrophilic nature of corn cob powder. It was also discovered that solvent sorption was most pronounced with benzene, followed by toluene and lastly xylene, in accordance with the relative proximity of their solubility parameters to that of polypropylene. Flame propagation rate was also found to improve by the incorporation of corn cob powder due to its high content of cellulose, a combustible organic matter. However, specific gravities of the composites were found to be lower than for the unfilled polypropylene, an implication that the composites produced are lighter in weight than the unfilled. Specific gravity increased with increase in filler loading but decreased with increase in particle size. The Morphological studies showed increase in the number of spherulites with increase in filler loading and increase in the size of the spherulites with increase in particle size. Further observation showed that the particle sizes and pores sizes detected increased with increase in filler particle size probably due to poor interaction and distribution of coarse particles. It is hoped that this present study will to help place the usefulness of corn cob as filler in the development of thermoplastic composites in future and develop its niche in the scientific record.
International Journal of Engineering and Technologies (Volume 11)
C. Onuoha et al., "Morphology and Physical/End-Use Properties of Recycled Polypropylene-Corn Cob Powder Composites", International Journal of Engineering and Technologies, Vol. 11, pp. 1-12, 2017