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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2013, Article ID 343068, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/343068
Research Article

Mechanical Properties and Weathering Behavior of Polypropylene-Hemp Shives Composites

1Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Protection, Technical University “Gheorghe Asachi”, Bd. D. Mangeron, 71 A, 700050 Iasi, Romania
2Institute of Technical and Natural Sciences Research-Development-Innovation of “Aurel Vlaicu” University, Elena Dragoi Street, Nr. 2, 310330 Arad, Romania
3Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, “Politehnica” University of Timisoara, Pta Victoriei No. 2, 300006 Timisoara, Romania
4“P. Poni” Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, 41A, Aleea Grigore Ghica Voda, 700487 Iasi, Romania

Received 22 May 2013; Accepted 24 July 2013

Academic Editor: Ewa Schab-Balcerzak

Copyright © 2013 Marcel Ionel Popa 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

This paper presents the obtaining and the characterization of composites with polypropylene matrix and hemp shives as filler in different ratios and containing poly(propylene)-co maleic anhydride (MAH-PP) 3% wt as compatibility agent. The weathering behavior of the composite enclosing 60% hemp shives, performed after the exposure to UV radiations at different exposure times, was evaluated. The changes in the chemical and morphological structures were investigated by FT-IR and RAMAN spectroscopies and AFM microscopy. The mechanical characteristics of the composites were determined before and after an artificial aging process, and they are within the limits of the values reported for polyolefin-based composites and materials with natural fillers. During the accelerated weathering process, the correlation between the chemical degradation of the main components of the composite and the modification of the mechanical properties after the process of aging has been observed.