Mechanical Properties of Maize Stalk Nano-particle Reinforced Epoxy Composites
This study addresses challenges of maize stalk wastes via conversion into nano-particles for producing epoxy composites at different levels of reinforcements. Mechanical tests were conducted on the produced epoxy composites. The result obtained reveals that development of epoxy polymer is synonymous with metallic crystal nucleation and growth. Epoxy composites have composite grains finer than those of the epoxy polymer. The hardness value increased from 2.2 HV of the pristine epoxy polymer to 10.35 and 17.83 HV at 2 wt% UCMSnp and CMSnp additions, respectively. The improvement in the hardness values is equal to about 370 and 710%, respectively; likewise, the tensile strengths. Better mechanical performance of the epoxy/carbonized maize stalk nano-composites than its counterpart containing uncarbonized maize stalk nano-particles is attributed to residual carbon in the carbonized maize stalk nano-particles known with high strength.