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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2014, Article ID 715801, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/715801
Research Article

Enhancement of Mechanical and Dynamic Mechanical Properties of Hydrophilic Nanoclay Reinforced Polylactic Acid/Polycaprolactone/Oil Palm Mesocarp Fiber Hybrid Composites

1Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2Department of Bioprocess Technology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
3Chemistry Department, Centre for Defence Foundation Studies, National Defence University of Malaysia, Kem Sungai Besi, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Received 1 March 2014; Accepted 7 April 2014; Published 27 April 2014

Academic Editor: Jan-Chan Huang

Copyright © 2014 Chern Chiet Eng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In previous studies, the effect of the addition of 1 wt% hydrophilic nanoclay on polylactic acid (PLA)/polycaprolactone (PCL)/oil palm mesocarp fiber (OPMF) biocomposites was investigated by tensile properties, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The current studies focus on the effect of addition of 1 wt% hydrophilic nanoclay on mechanical (flexural and impact properties) and dynamic mechanical properties of composites. The composites were characterized by the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). FTIR spectra show that peak shifting occurs when 1 wt% hydrophilic nanoclay was added to composites. The addition of 1 wt% hydrophilic nanoclay successfully improves the flexural properties and impact resistance of the biocomposites. The storage modulus of biocomposites was decreased when nanoclay was added which indicates that the stiffness of biocomposites was reduced. The loss modulus curve shows that the addition of nanoclay shift two tg in composites become closer to each other which indicates that the incorporation of nanoclay slightly compatibilizes the biocomposites. Tan δ indicated that hybrid composites dissipate less energy compared to biocomposites indicate that addition of clay to biocomposites improves fiber/matrix adhesion. Water sorption test shows that the addition of nanoclay enhances water resistance of composites.