Effects of Particle Size Distribution on the Properties of Natural-Based Composite
In this study, locally sourced natural materials (coconut shells and seashells) were used separately to produce composites. The powders were sieved with sieve size of 10 µm and characterized using a particle size analyser (DLS) in order to ascertain their particle size distribution. Also, the effects of particle size distribution on the performance of sourced coconut shells and seashells-based composite was investigated. About 52% of the characterized powder was afterward used along with other ingredients (35% binder, 8% alumina and 5% graphite) to produced composites using moulding pressure (14 MPa), moulding temperature (160 ºC), curing time (12 min) and heat treatment time (1 hr). The performance of the composites was thereafter evaluated using standard testing procedures. The results of particle size analysis indicated that the seashell powder (0.27) possesses lower distribution width (PDI) compared to the coconut shell powder (0.342) while the coconut shell (542.3 nm) showed lower Z-average diameter compared to the seashell powder (1096 nm) with some little traces of nanoparticles (<10 µm). Also, the experimental results obtained from composite characterization indicated that the coconut shell-based samples exhibited better performance in terms of its mechanical and tribological properties compared to the seashell-based samples.
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