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Journal of Nanotechnology
Volume 2016, Article ID 4235975, 9 pages
Research Article

Impact of Surface Modification and Nanoparticle on Sisal Fiber Reinforced Polypropylene Nanocomposites

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
2Polymer Section, Department of Chemical Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
3Department of Civil Engineering, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa

Received 4 June 2016; Revised 30 August 2016; Accepted 14 September 2016

Academic Editor: Simon Joseph Antony

Copyright © 2016 Idowu David Ibrahim 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.


The use of plant fibers, polymer, and nanoparticles for composite has gained global attention, especially in the packaging, automobile, aviation, building, and construction industries. Nanocomposites materials are currently in use as a replacement for traditional materials due to their superior properties, such as high strength-to-weight ratio, cost effectiveness, and environmental friendliness. Sisal fiber (SF) was treated with 5% NaOH for 2 hours at 70°C. A mixed blend of sisal fiber and recycled polypropylene (rPP) was produced at four different fiber loadings: 10, 20, 30, and 40 wt.%, while nanoclay was added at 1, 3, and 5 wt.%. Maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene (MAPP) was used as the compatibilizer for all composites prepared except the untreated sisal fibers. The characterization results showed that the fiber treatment, addition of MAPP, and nanoclay improved the mechanical properties and thermal stability and reduced water absorption of the SF/rPP nanocomposites. The tensile strength, tensile modulus, and impact strength increased by 32.80, 37.62, and 5.48%, respectively, when compared to the untreated SF/rPP composites. Water absorption was reduced due to the treatment of fiber and the incorporation of MAPP and nanoclay.