Thermal Analysis and Morphological Characterization of Thermoplastic Composites Filled with Almond Shell Flour/Montmorillonite
Hosseinihashemi, Seyyed Khalil
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The main objective of this research was to study the potential uses of almond shell flour (ASF) in the production of thermoplastic composites containing montmorillonite (MMT). Thirty, 35, and 40 wt% ASF was used, and 2.0 wt% maleic anhydride-grafted polypropylene was used as the compatibilizer. Two levels of MMT nanoclay, 2.5 and 5.0 wt%, were mixed with polypropylene (PP). The effects of MMT on the thermal properties of the blended composites were evaluated using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), morphological characterization, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The XRD data showed that the relative intercalation of the composites with 2.5 wt% MMT was higher than that of the 5.0 wt% nanoclay composites. The TGA results indicated that by increasing the MMT percentage, the degradation temperature and the thermal stability were enhanced. The MMT exhibited better dispersion in the clay layers of the polymer-matrix composites when increased from 2.5 to 5.0 wt%, and at the 5.0 wt% MMT loading, the size of MMT became larger. The total weight loss of the ASF/PP/MMT composite decreased as the filler content increased, and the thermal stability increased as the MMT content increased.
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