Processing and properties of high density polyethylene/date palm fiber composites prepared by a laboratory mixing extruder
In this work, “green” composites made from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and natural fiber based date palm fiber have been prepared and studied. The effects of different loadings of date palm fibers (DPF) on the morphological, thermal and melt rheological properties of the composites have been investigated. Morphological investigation showed that the fibers were evenly dispersed in HDPE matrix at all DPF loadings. Additionally, the results of differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis revealed that the addition of the DPF in the HDPE matrix has slightly increased the crystallization temperature (ΔT = ± 1.33 oC). However, the crystallinity index, Xc of the composites at all DPF loadings were lower than the neat HDPE. The decrease of Xc was approximately 10.5 – 14 %. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis results revealed that the addition of the DPF into the HDPE matrix has increased the crystallization temperature. However, the crystallinity index of the composites at all DPF loadings were lower than the neat HDPE. In term of melt rheological analysis, the complex viscosity of the composites were all higher than the HDPE matrix and increased with the increase of DPF loadings, which was due to the restriction of the HDPE chain segment movements as the amount of DPF increased.