Role of Potassium Permanganate and Urea on the Improvement of the Mechanical Properties of Jute Polypropylene Composites
Jute fabrics (hessian cloth) reinforced polypropylene (PP) matrix composites (45 wt% fiber) were fabricated by compression molding. Jute fabrics were treated with 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) using ultraviolet radiation in order to improve the mechanical properties of the composites. Concentration of HEMA, soaking time and radiation dose were optimized. It was found that 15% HEMA in methanol along with photoinitiator Darocur-1173 (2 %), 10 min soaking time and 20th pass of radiation rendered better performance. Urea of different concentrations (0.5-2 %) was incorporated with 15 % HEMA to monitor its effect on the properties and 1 % urea revealed the best results. For the improvement of the properties, jute fabrics were treated with potassium permanganate ( $KMnO_4$ ) solution in acetone of different concentrations (0.02, 0.03, 0.05, and 0.5 %) at different soaking times (1, 2, 3, and 5 min) before the composite fabrication. Optimized jute fabrics (jute fabrics treated with 0.03 % $KMnO_4$ ) were again treated with HEMA (15 %) solution along with urea (1 %) and promising improvement of mechanical properties of the composites was observed. Scanning electron microscopy, water uptake, soil degradation and thermal aging of the treated and untreated composites were also performed.
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