Plasma Treatment of Agave Fiber Powder and Its Effect on the Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Composites Based on Polyethylene
International Journal of Polymer Science
Composites based on low-density polyethylene (LDPE) were prepared with Agave fiber powder (AFP) that was coated by plasma polymerization process using ethylene gas. Treated and pristine AFP were analyzed by infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and contact water angle for the assessment of surface properties. The polymer composites were prepared by melt mixing using 0, 5, 10, and 20 wt% of AFP and their mechanical and thermal properties were measured. Dispersion evaluation in
... n evaluation in water confirmed that the AFP treated changed from hydrophilic to hydrophobic behavior and it was also corroborated with water contact angle tests. The addition of treated and untreated AFP (200 mesh) at 20 wt% promotes an increase of Young's modulus of the composites of up to 60% and 32%, respectively, in relation to the neat matrix. Also, an increase of crystallinity of LDPE was observed by the addition of treated and untreated AFP; however no significant effect on the crystallization temperature was observed in LDPE containing AFP.