Microstructural, mechanical, and thermal characteristics of recycled cellulose fiber-halloysite-epoxy hybrid nanocomposites

H. Alamri, I. M. Low

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Epoxy hybrid-nanocomposites reinforced with recycled cellulose fibers (RCF) and halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) have been fabricated and investigated. The dispersion of HNTs was studied by synchrotron radiation diffraction (SRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The influences of RCF/HNTs dispersion on the mechanical properties and thermal properties of these composites have been characterized in terms of flexural strength, flexural modulus, fracture toughness, impact toughness, impact strength, and thermogravimetric analysis. The fracture surface morphology and toughness mechanisms were investigated by SEM. Results indicated that mechanical properties increased because of the addition of HNTs into the epoxy matrix. Flexural strength, flexural modulus, fracture toughness, and impact toughness increased by 20.8, 72.8, 56.5, and 25.0%, respectively, at 1 wt% HNTs load. The presence of RCF dramatically enhanced flexural strength, fracture toughness, impact strength, and impact toughness of the composites by 160%, 350%, 444%, and 263%, respectively. However, adding HNTs to RCF/epoxy showed only slight enhancements in flexural strength and fracture toughness. The inclusion of 5 wt% HNTs into RCF/epoxy ecocomposites increased the impact toughness by 27.6%. The presence of either HNTs or RCF accelerated the thermal degradation of neat epoxy. However, at high temperature, samples reinforced with RCF and HNTs displayed better thermal stability with increased char residue than neat resin. © 2012 Society of Plastics Engineers.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-600
Number of pages12
JournalPolymer Composites
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 26 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors thank Ms E. Miller from Applied Physicsat Curtin University for assistance with SEM. The authorsare also grateful to Dr. Rachid Sougrat from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology for performingthe TEM images. Finally, we thank Andreas Viereckl ofMechanical Engineering at Curtin University for the helpwith Charpy Impact Test. We thank Dr. Zied Alothmanfrom King Saud University for assistance with the TGAexperiment .
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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