Structural, thermal, mechanical and physical properties of Washingtonia filifera fibres reinforced thermoplastic biocomposites

The use of plant fibres, including those of Washingtonia filifera (WF), offers many advantages, such as being an ecological resource, they require low energy input in their manufacture and can be disposed of by composting at the end of their life cycle. In this work, we studied the mechanical, thermal and physical behaviour of WF fibres reinforced High Density Polyethylene (WFRHDPE) biocomposites with different mass ratios of WF fibres (10%, 20% and 30%) produced by injection moulding technique. The characterization of these novel biocomposites was carried out by using advanced equipment such as DSC-TGA, FTIR, XRD, SEM, universal testing machine, and Izod tester. The obtained results show that adding WF fibres to neat HDPE improves tensile and flexural prop- erties but slightly reduces impact resistance. Moreover, the thermal results analysis revealed that the rein- forcement by WF fibres with up to 20% in the HDPE matrix mass, decreased the melting temperature leading to rapid degradation of the biocomposite compared to that of the neat HDPE. It was concluded that WFRHDPE biocomposites with 20% of the mass ratio of WF fibres display good mechanical and thermal properties as compared with 30% WF based composites whereas thermomechanical properties decreased. WF fibre has great potential for engineering applications such as construction and furniture.