MATERIALS RESEARCH-IBERO-AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MATERIALS, vol.19, no.2, pp.440-445, 2016 (SCI-Expanded)
The effect of montmorillonite (MMT) loading (0, 2.5, and 5 wt%) and almond shell flour (ASF) content (30, 35, and 40 wt%) on the decay resistance, hardness, water resistance of injection molded polypropylene (PP) composites was investigated. The amount of maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene was kept constant at 2% for all formulations. White-rot (Trametes versicolor) fungal treatment was applied to the produced composites for 14 weeks according to BS 838: 1961 with the Petri dishes method. The weight loss of the composites decreased with increasing MMT content. The highest hardness (66 Shore D) was noted in the undecayed control composites (40ASF60PP0MMT) while the lowest hardness (61.3 Shore D) was recorded in the decayed control composites (30ASF70PP0MMT). The water absorption of the undecayed and decayed composites decreased with increasing amount montmorillonite at 30-40 wt% content of the ASF loading level. The water absorption of the decayed composites was higher than that of the undecayed composites but their thickness swelling was lower. Based on the findings obtained from the present study, a 35/5/65/2 formulation of the ASF/MMT/PP/MAPP can be used in outdoor applications requiring a high dimensional stability.