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Effect of Cyrtostachys renda Fiber Loading on the Mechanical, Morphology, and Flammability Properties of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes/Phenolic Bio-Composites

Tamil Moli Loganathan, Mohamed Thariq Hameed Sultan, Qumrul Ahsan, Mohammad Jawaid, , Ain Umaira Md Shah, Abd. Rahim Abu Talib, Adi Azriff Basri, Che Nor Aiza Jaafar
Published in MDPI

This research focuses on evaluating the effect of Cyrtostachys renda (CR) fiber and the impact of adding multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) on the morphological, physical, mechanical, and flammability properties of phenolic composites. MWCNT were supplemented with phenolic resin through a dry dispersion ball milling method. Composites were fabricated by incorporating CR fiber in 0.5 wt.% MWCNT-phenolic matrix by hot pressing. Nevertheless, the void content, higher water absorption, and thickness swelling increased with fiber loading to the MWCNT/phenolic composites. The presence of MWCNT in phenolic enhanced the tensile, flexural, and impact strength by as much as 18%, 8%, and 8%, respectively, compared to pristine phenolic. The addition of CR fiber, however, strengthened MWCNT-phenolic composites, improving the tensile, flexural, and impact strength by as much as 16%, 16%, and 266%, respectively, for 50 wt.% loading of CR fiber. The CR fiber may adhere properly to the matrix, indicating that there is a strong interface between fiber and MWCNT-phenolic resin. UL-94 horizontal and limiting oxygen index (LOI) results indicated that all composite materials are in the category of self-extinguishing. Based on the technique for order preference by similarity to the ideal solution (TOPSIS) technique, 50 wt.% CR fiber-reinforced MWCNT-phenolic composite was chosen as the optimal composite for mechanical and flammability properties. This bio-based eco-friendly composite has the potential to be used as an aircraft interior component.

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