Journal of Oil Palm Research (Special Issue - April 2006), p. 103-113 KHAIRIAH Badri* ; KHAIRUL Anuar Mat Amin*
The influence of oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) on the mechanical properties of high density rigid polyurethane (PU) has been investigated. The palm kernel oil-based polyester (functionality of 3) is mixed with tetramethylhexanediamine as curing agent, silicone-type of surfactant and EFB fibre as a filler to make the resin. This resin is then reacted with 4,4’-diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) to produce high density rigid PU. The ratio of EFB fibre to PU matrix is varied from 25:75 to 30:70 and 35:65. The mechanical properties determined are the shore D hardness, impact and flexural strengths and percentage of water absorption. Excellence water resistance and optimum flexural and impact strengths are observed in the biocomposites with the 35:75 ratio of PU matrix to EFB fibre. The PU matrix provides an encapsulating effect to the fibre that higher amount of PU matrix fully treated the surface of the fibre. The micrographs of the biocomposites indicate good adhesion of individual fibre strands to the PU matrix.KEYWORDS:
* School of Chemical Sciences and Food Technology,
Faculty of Science and Technology,
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia,
43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia.