The effect of rubber powder additives on mechanical properties of polypropylene glass-fiber-reinforced composite

Elhousari, Abdelaal M.; Rashad, Maher; Elsheikh, Ammar H.; Dewidar, Montasser

Reinforced thermoplastic composites offer considerable advantages in structural and industrial applications in terms of high specific strength, excellent corrosion resistance, high impact toughness, high specific stiffness, recyclability, cost effectiveness, and design flexibility. Glass fibers (GFs) are the reinforcement material used in polypropylene (PP) composites to enhance PP properties with reasonable cost. To obtain better mechanical properties and decrease the overall cost, recycled rubber powder was used as a low-cost additive to PP/GF composites. The PP and GF, with different weight fractions, were mixed mechanically; then, the mixture was fed into injection molding machine. The PP/GF composites with the highest mechanical properties were selected for further improvements using rubber powder. The obtained samples were tested using tension, impact, and wear tests. The results show that tensile strength of PP/GF composite was improved by 17.8 % by adding 15 wt % GF, and there was a huge drop in impact strength by 80 % for the same GF weight fraction (15 wt %) compared to that of pure PP because of existence of GF. Wear properties and impact strength were improved by adding rubber powder to the composite, with a low weight fraction of 5 wt %, due to the shock-absorbing properties of rubber powder. Micrographs of the fractured sample surfaces revealed the good adhesion between the GF, PP, and the rubber particles.

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Elhousari, Abdelaal M. / Rashad, Maher / Elsheikh, Ammar H. / et al: The effect of rubber powder additives on mechanical properties of polypropylene glass-fiber-reinforced composite. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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