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Liu, T., Lei, Y., Wang, Q., Lee, S., and Wu, Q. (2013). "Effect of fiber type and coupling treatment on properties of high-density polyethylene/natural fiber composites," BioRes. 8(3), 4619-4632.


High-density polyethylene (HDPE) and natural fiber composites were prepared by melt compounding and injection molding. The influence of fiber type (i.e., pine, bagasse, rice straw, and rice husk) and the addition of coupling agents on the composite properties were investigated. The use of 30 wt% fiber enhanced the tensile and flexural properties of neat HDPE, but decreased the impact strength. The comprehensive mechanical properties of HDPE/natural fiber composites were significantly improved by the addition of 2 wt% maleated polyethylene (MAPE). The toughness was further enhanced with the use of 5 wt% maleated triblock copolymer styrene-ethylene/butylene-styrene (MASEBS). The composites had higher crystallization peak temperatures and lower crystallinity levels than neat HDPE, and their thermal stability was lower than that of HDPE. The reduced storage modulus and increased loss tangent showed that MASEBS performed as a flexibilizer in composites.
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