Arenga Pinnata–Silicone Biocomposite Properties via Experimental and Numerical Analysis

Siti Humairah KAMARUL BAHRAIN, Jamaluddin MAHMUD, Muhammad Hussain ISMAIL


Due to high flexibility and elasticity, silicone rubber has been widely used in many applications especially in medical and industrial sectors. However, pure silicone rubber experiences weak tensile strength and this can be improved via filler addition. Therefore, this paper aims to produce a new type of silicone biocomposite (Arenga pinnata-silicone biocomposite) and assess its mechanical properties, physical properties and morphological characteristics. The effects of Arenga pinnata filler on the silicone rubber are investigated by comparing the mechanical properties between pure silicone rubber and 12 wt.% Arenga pinnata-silicone biocomposite. Uniaxial tensile test was conducted on these soft materials to obtain stress-strain data, which then converted into engineering stress–stretch (σEλ) data. These experimental data were fitted to Neo-Hookean and Mooney-Rivlin models to acquire the material constants. Its physical characteristic was studied via density test and the morphological surface on the break surface was examined using Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). The average maximum tensile strength of the specimen with the addition of 12 wt.% Arenga pinnata filler is found to be 0.65 MPa. This signifies a decrease of its strength compared to pure silicone rubber (average maximum tensile strength = 0.85 MPa). However, in contrary, it is found that the presence of Arenga pinnata fibre has increased the stiffness and density of the silicone rubber. When comparing to experimental data, it could be observed that both Neo-Hookean and Mooney-Rivlin models could mimic better the elastic behaviour of the 12 wt.% Arenga pinnata-silicone biocomposite compared to pure silicone rubber. Observing the SEM images, no agglomerations of Arenga pinnata filler can be seen thus conforming good dispersion of the filler. The images also show good fibre adhesion between the filler and the matrix. Therefore, it can be concluded that the addition of Arenga pinnata filler has enhanced properties of pure silicone rubber. In addition, this study promotes the benefits of utilising natural fibres as fillers in composite materials.



Arenga pinnata fibre; silicone biocomposite; hyperelastic materials; mechanical properties

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Print ISSN: 1392–1320
Online ISSN: 2029–7289