Abstract: Particle filled polymer composites have become attractive because of their wide applications and low cost. Incorporating inorganic mineral fillers into plastic resin improves mechanical strength, modulus and heat deflection temperature. Increased environmental awareness throughout the world have developed an increasing interest towards the use of natural fibres/particles such as melon husks (MHs) as reinforcement which are now considered as alternative to synthetic fibres/particles for use in various fields since they are readily available. Melon husks are shells that are discarded after processing or shelling of melon seeds. The MHs were carbonized. The composites were produced by varying the carbonized MHs particles from 5 to 30 wt% using stir casting method. The microstructure and mechanical properties of the composites were determined using standard methods. The result shows that increased in MHs reinforcement, increased the mechanical properties of the composites. The carbonized MHs particles in the epoxy matrix as reinforcement gave better mechanical properties than the uncarbonized MHs particles. The work has established that MHs particles can be used to enhance the properties of epoxy resin matrix composites for indoor and outdoor structural application.
Authors: S.B. Hassan, V.S. Aigbodion, and C.U. Atuanya
Keywords: Melon Shell, Carbonized, Uncarbonized