Development and Characterisation of Epoxy-Alumininum-Coconut Shell Particulate Hybrid Nanocomposite for Automobile Applications

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Bello, S.A
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This study synthesised micro and nanoparticles from aluminium cans and coconut shells, determined the effects of charge ratio and milling duration on the sizes and morphologies of coconut shell produced and determined the effects of dispersion of aluminium and coconut shell nanoparticles and their hybrid mixtures on the morphology, wear resistance and some mechanical properties of developed epoxy aluminium coconut shell particulate nanocomposites. It also evaluated the thermal stability of selected samples of produced epoxy composites and developed regression models for predicting the mechanical and wear resistance properties of the developed EAlCSp nanocomposites. This was with a view to ascertaining the suitability of the developed polymeric epoxy aluminium coconut shell Nano particulate composites for the producing safe and sound automobile bumpers. In this study, isotropic composites have been developed using micro and nanoparticles synthesised from both aluminium cans and coconut shell wastes for reinforcing epoxy. Aluminium micro particle (Almp) and nanoparticles (Alnp) were produced through casting, machine spinning and top down approach using carbonised coconut shell particle as a solid lubricant. Carbonised and uncarbonised coconut shell particles at micro and Nano levels were synthesised to produce epoxy composites through in-situ polymerisation of diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA) cured with benzene-1,3-diethanamine hardener. The developed epoxy composites were characterised using Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), optical microscope (OM) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) to assess degree of cross linking reaction, formation of, dispersion of second phase compound particles and their spatial arrangement within the epoxy matrix. Furthermore, the mechanical properties of the developed hybrid nanocomposites were studied using Universal Testing Machine, Impact and Hardness Testers. Wear resistance of the developed epoxy composites were determined using Wear Testing Machine. Experimental results were subjected to predictive modelling and validation using regression analyses. Results obtained showed that non-agglomerated uncarbonised coconut shell nanoparticles were obtained at 70 hours and 10 charge ratios. Incorporation of micro, Nano and hybridised nanoparticles into epoxy significantly influenced the microstructure, physical, chemical, mechanical and thermal properties. FTIR, XRD and SEM confirmed formation of second phase particles, their homogeneous distribution and good adhesion to the epoxy matrix. Increments in mechanical properties, wear and thermal stabilities were found. Theoretical predictions of wear rate revealed that both the applied load and speed of disc rotation were statistically influencing factors that caused wear severity of epoxy hybrid nanocomposites. With regression coefficient of determination higher than 75 for all models developed, the models exhibit good predictions of the experimental data. Comparison of the results obtained with properties of Glass fibre material thermoplastic (GMT), Toyota (Sienna, CE 2010 model) and Nissan (Almera, 2010 model) bumper materials establishes that the tensile strength (43.20 Nmm-2) and flexural strength (193.43 N mm- 2) of the developed epoxy-aluminium-uncarbonised coconut shell particulate nanocomposites are superior to respective tensile strengths; 37.20, 12.23 and 6.44 Nmm-2 and flexural strengths; 145.00, 135.16, 58.30 Nmm-2 of existing materials for automobile bumper applications.
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Lagos
Aluminium , Nanocomposites
\bello, S.A (2017). Development and Characterisation of Epoxy-Alumininum-Coconut Shell Particulate Hybrid Nanocomposite for Automobile Applications. A Thesis Submitted to University of Lagos School of Postgraduate Studies Phd Thesis, 571p.