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Botswana International University of Science & Technology (BIUST) 2021

Processing and characterization of a sorghum stem-based fibre polymer composite for building insulation application

Moumakwa, Nametso Linda

Titre : Processing and characterization of a sorghum stem-based fibre polymer composite for building insulation application

Auteur : Moumakwa, Nametso Linda

Université de soutenance : Botswana International University of Science & Technology (BIUST)

Grade MEng Mechanical and Energy 2021

Résumé partiel
Agricultural residue-based fibrous (ARF) materials have been identified to be a commercially viable solution for energy-efficient building insulation application. ARFs have various advantages over synthetic fibers including environmentally friendly, light weight, low cost, and competent mechanical properties. Meanwhile, in many African countries including Botswana, the expertise to manufacture building insulators by using ARFs is scarce and consequently building insulation material is imported. Furthermore, undesirable characteristics of hydrophilic ARF such as poor mechanical properties, water absorption, poor thermal stability, and poor adhesion with hydrophobic polymers have posed challenges to the development and application of agricultural residue-based fibers reinforced polymer composites (ARFRPCs). Hence, the need to engage a critical literature review to identify appropriate surface medication methods, materials, and processing parameters to manufacture ARFRPCs for building insulation. This thesis investigates the production of building insulation composites by using ARF derived from sorghum stalk incorporated into polymeric matrices to develop local expertise and reduce importation. To achieve this goal, samples of ARF extracted via water retting technique and then treated for five and ten days using thermo-alkali and thermo-laccase surface modification techniques. Samples of ARRFPC from both treatments were manufactured by compounding ARF with recycled low 18 density polyethylene (rLDPE) and later on processed via compression moulding technique. The samples were then dried and cured in a conditioning room for 10 days. Analytical techniques such as water absorption, thermal conductivity tests, thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA), Scanning Electron Microscope(SEM), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) were engaged to provide insight into the thermal degradation, microstructural features, interfacial adhesion mechanisms as well as mechanical and chemical characteristics of the Agricultural residue-based fibrous (ARF) materials have been identified to be a commercially viable solution for energy-efficient building insulation application. ARFs have various advantages over synthetic fibers including environmentally friendly, light weight, low cost, and competent mechanical properties. Meanwhile, in many African countries including Botswana, the expertise to manufacture building insulators by using ARFs is scarce and consequently building insulation material is imported.

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Page publiée le 25 décembre 2022