The purpose of the study is to investigate the utilisation of Napier fiber (Pennisetum purpureum) as a source for the fabrication of cellulose nanofibers (CNF). In this study, cellulose nanofibers (CNF) from Napier fiber were isolated via ball-milling assisted by acid hydrolysis. Acid hydrolysis with different molarities (1.0, 3.8 and 5.6 M) was performed efficiently facilitate cellulose fiber size reduction. The resulting CNFs were characterised through Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), particle size analyser (PSA), field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The FTIR results demonstrated that there were no obvious changes observed between the spectra of the CNFs with different molarities of acid hydrolysis. With 5.6 M acid hydrolysis, the XRD analysis displayed the highest degree of CNF crystallinity at 70.67%. In a thermal analysis by TGA and DTG, cellulose nanofiber with 5.6 M acid hydrolysis tended to produce cellulose nanofibers with higher thermal stability. As evidenced by the structural morphologies, a fibrous network nanostructure was obtained under TEM and AFM analysis, while a compact structure was observed under FESEM analysis. In conclusion, the isolated CNFs from Napier-derived cellulose are expected to yield potential to be used as a suitable source for nanocomposite production in various applications, including pharmaceutical, food packaging and biomedical fields.
Cellulose nanowhisker (NWC) was extracted by hydrolysing Pennisetum purpureum (PP) fibres with acid and alkali. They were subjected to different periods of acid hydrolysis; 30, 45, and 60 min. NWC morphology and physicochemical properties were characterised by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), particle size analyser, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and thermogravimetric analysis. NWC3, which underwent the longest hydrolysis time, showed the smallest width and length, under TEM. All samples presented a needle-like shape under TEM and AFM; uneven lengths and irregular shapes under FESEM; and a broad range of distribution, with the particle size analyser. All samples exhibited a good crystallinity index (CrI)-72.0 to 74.6%. The highest CrI% corresponded to 60 min of acid hydrolysis. Thermogravimetric analysis showed thermal stability between 310.72 °C and 336.28 °C. Thus, cellulose nanowhisker from PP fibres, have high potential as bio-nanocomposites.
In this paper, the effects of stacking sequence and ply orientation on the mechanical properties of pineapple leaf fibre (PALF)/carbon hybrid laminate composites were investigated. The hybrid laminates were fabricated using a vacuum infusion technique in which the stacking sequences and ply orientations were varied, which were divided into the categories of cross-ply symmetric, angle-ply symmetric, and symmetric quasi-isotropic. The results of tensile and flexural tests showed that the laminate with interior carbon plies and ply orientation [0°, 90°] exhibited the highest tensile strength (187.67 MPa) and modulus (5.23 GPa). However, the highest flexural strength (289.46 MPa) and modulus (4.82 GPa) were recorded for the laminate with exterior carbon plies and the same ply orientation. The fracture behaviour of the laminates was determined by using scanning electron microscopy, and the results showed that failure usually initiated at the weakest PALF layer. The failure modes included fibre pull-out, fibre breaking, matrix crack, debonding, and delamination.
The mechanical, thermal, and morphological properties of a 3D porous Pennisetum purpureum (PP)/polylactic acid (PLA) based scaffold were investigated. In this study, a scaffold containing P. purpureum and PLA was produced using the solvent casting and particulate leaching method. P. purpureum fibre, also locally known as Napier grass, is composed of 46% cellulose, 34% hemicellulose, and 20% lignin. PLA composites with various P. purpureum contents (10%, 20%, and 30%) were prepared and subsequently characterised. The morphologies, structures and thermal behaviours of the prepared composite scaffolds were characterised using field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The morphology was studied using FESEM; the scaffold possessed 70-200μm-sized pores with a high level of interconnectivity. The moisture content and mechanical properties of the developed porous scaffolds were further characterised. The P. purpureum/PLA scaffold had a greater porosity factor (99%) and compression modulus (5.25MPa) than those of the pure PLA scaffold (1.73MPa). From the results, it can be concluded that the properties of the highly porous P. purpureum/PLA scaffold developed in this study can be controlled and optimised. This can be used to facilitate the construction of implantable tissue-engineered cartilage.
A packaging material that is environment-friendly with excellent mechanical and physicochemical properties, biodegradable and ultraviolet (UV) protection and thermal stability was prepared to reduce plastic waste. Six different concentrations of Pennisetum purpureum/Napier cellulose nanowhiskers (NWCs) (i.e. 0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, and 3.0 wt%) were used to reinforce polylactic acid (PLA) by a solvent casting method. The resulting bionanocomposite film samples were characterised in terms of their morphology, chemical structure, crystallinity, thermal degradation and stability, light transmittance, water absorption, biodegradability, and physical and mechanical properties. Field-emission scanning electron microscopy showed the excellent dispersion of NWC in the PLA matrix occurred with NWC concentrations of 0.5-1.5 wt%. All the bionanocomposite film samples exhibited good thermal stability at approximately 343-359 °C. The highest water absorption was 1.94%. The lowest transparency at λ800 was 16.16% for the PLA/3.0% NWC bionanocomposite film, which also has the lowest UVA and UVB transmittance of 7.49% and 4.02%, respectively, making it suitable for packaging materials. The PLA/1.0% NWC film exhibited the highest crystallinity of 50.09% and high tensile strength and tensile modulus of 21.22 MPa and 11.35 MPa, respectively.
This paper presents the results of studies to understand the influence of hybridisation on mechanical and tribological behaviour as well as dry sliding wear of aluminium metal matrix composites. Sillimanite and boron carbide (B4C) were used as primary and secondary reinforcements and pure aluminium was used as the matrix material. The composite was fabricated by using a vacuum assisted stir casting process. Different research instruments were used, including a scanning electron microscope with EDX spectrometer, a surface measurement device, a thermal image analyser, as well as a tribotester. The results show that tensile, impact strength and hardness of the hybridised composites are superior (a step ahead) than unreinforced and primary composites. The wear behaviour of the fabricated specimens was tested for the dry sliding wear behaviour under the load range of 10-50 N with the steps of 20 N for the sliding velocities 0.75, 1.5 and 2.25 m/s over a distance of 1000 m. The wear rate increased with load and decreased as the wt.% of reinforcement increased. The wear rate of the composite with 10 wt.% Al2SiO5 was approximately 44% lower than that of the composite with 5 wt.% Al2SiO5. The same dependence was noted for hybrid composite (5 wt.% Al2SiO5 + 5 wt.% B4C)-the wear rate was approximately 50.8% lower than that of the composite with 5 wt.% Al2SiO5 under the same test condition. The friction coefficient decreased as the weight percentage of the reinforcement (Al2SiO5 and B4C) increased due to the uniform distribution of the reinforcement on the surface of the composites. The main wear mechanism of the studied materials was abrasion wear. The wear mechanism of the composite had tribochemical type. It involved the oxidation and transfer of the material, which formed protective tribolayers ensuring an additional sliding process. The mechanism that played the main role in the wear process of the composites was a combination of abrasive, adhesive and oxidative wear.
This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the dielectric and physicochemical properties of the porous hydroxyapatite/cornstarch (HAp/Cs) composites in a new perspective. The porous composites have been characterized via SEM, FTIR, XRD and dielectric spectroscopy. The dielectric permittivity spectra were obtained in Ku-band (12.4-18.0 GHz) and it was correlated with the physicochemical properties of the porous HAp/Cs. Porous HAp/Cs composites exhibits low ε' and negative ε″, which influenced by the microstructural morphology, interaction between Hap and Cs, as well as crystalline features due to the various proportion of the HAp/Cs. The physicochemical effect of the composites results in the dielectric polarization and energy loss. This phenomenon indicates the presence of the three obvious relaxation responses in the ε' spectrum (13.2-14.0, 15.2-16.0, and 16.6-17.4 GHz) and the negative behaviours in the ε″ spectrum. The relationships between physicochemical and dielectric properties of the porous composite facilitate the development of the non-destructive microwave evaluation test for the porous composite.
This study aims to explore the mechanical properties of hybrid glass fiber (GF)/sisal fiber (SF)/chitosan (CTS) composite material for orthopedic long bone plate applications. The GF/SF/CTS hybrid composite possesses a unique sandwich structure and comprises GF/CTS/epoxy as the external layers and SF/CTS/epoxy as the inner layers. The composite plate resembles the human bone structure (spongy internal cancellous matrix and rigid external cortical). The mechanical properties of the prepared hybrid sandwich composites samples were evaluated using tensile, flexural, micro hardness, and compression tests. The scanning electron microscopic (SEM) images were studied to analyze the failure mechanism of these composite samples. Besides, contact angle (CA) and water absorption tests were conducted using the sessile drop method to examine the wettability properties of the SF/CTS/epoxy and GF/SF/CTS/epoxy composites. Additionally, the porosity of the GF/SF/CTS composite scaffold samples were determined by using the ethanol infiltration method. The mechanical test results show that the GF/SF/CTS hybrid composites exhibit the bending strength of 343 MPa, ultimate tensile strength of 146 MPa, and compressive strength of 380 MPa with higher Young's modulus in the bending tests (21.56 GPa) compared to the tensile (6646 MPa) and compressive modulus (2046 MPa). Wettability study results reveal that the GF/SF/CTS composite scaffolds were hydrophobic (CA = 92.41° ± 1.71°) with less water absorption of 3.436% compared to the SF/CTS composites (6.953%). The SF/CTS composites show a hydrophilic character (CA = 54.28° ± 3.06°). The experimental tests prove that the GF/SF/CTS hybrid composite can be used for orthopedic bone fracture plate applications in future.
An investigation on relationship among the physicochemical, optical and dielectric properties of the hydroxyapatite/cornstarch (HA/Cs) composites with the starch proportion of 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90 wt% is presented in this work. The HA/Cs composites have been characterized via FTIR, XRD, DRS and impedance analyzer. This work depicts that the strong interaction is exhibited between the hydroxyapatite nanoparticles and starch as the starch proportion increases. This increment trend results in the higher crystallinity of the HA/Cs composites. The highly crystallized HA/Cs with hydroxyapatite nucleation center presents low optical properties (diffuse reflectance and optical band gap energy). The HA/Cs composite with 80 wt% starch proportion (H2C8) show higher dielectric properties (dielectric constant, loss factor and conductivity) due to the stronger interfacial interaction and close-packed HA/Cs crystalline structure. The relationship among the physicochemical, optical and dielectric properties of the HA/Cs composite is studied in this work for potential of instrumentation design.
This paper aims to investigate the dielectric properties, i.e., dielectric constant (ε'), dielectric loss factor (ε″), dielectric tangent loss (tan δ), electrical conductivity (σ), and penetration depth (Dp), of the porous nanohydroxyapatite/starch composites in the function of starch proportion, pore size, and porosity over a broad band frequency range of 5 MHz-12 GHz. The porous nanohydroxyapatite/starch composites were fabricated using different starch proportions ranging from 30 to 90 wt%. The results reveal that the dielectric properties and the microstructural features of the porous nanohydroxyapatite/starch composites can be enhanced by the increment in the starch proportion. Nevertheless, the composite with 80 wt% of starch proportion exhibit low dielectric properties (ε', ε″, tan δ, and σ) and a high penetration depth because of its highly interconnected porous microstructures. The dielectric properties of the porous nanohydroxyapatite/starch composites are highly dependent on starch proportion, average pore size, and porosity. The regression models are developed to express the dielectric properties of the porous nanohydroxyapatite/starch composites (R2 > 0.96) in the function of starch proportion, pore size, and porosity from 1 to 11 GHz. This dielectric study can facilitate the assessment of bone scaffold design in bone tissue engineering applications.