Arenga Pinnata–Silicone Biocomposite Properties via Experimental and Numerical Analysis


  • Siti Humairah KAMARUL BAHRAIN Universiti Teknologi MARA
  • Jamaluddin MAHMUD
  • Muhammad Hussain ISMAIL



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


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.


Author Biography

Siti Humairah KAMARUL BAHRAIN, Universiti Teknologi MARA

Siti Humairah Kamarul Bahrain is currently pursuing her Masters study (research mode) at the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Shah Alam. She has graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.) Mechanical from Universiti Teknologi MARA Shah Alam in April 2016 and a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Universiti Teknologi MARA Pulau Pinang in November 2012. During her bachelor’s degree study, she has received the Best Student Award in her fifth semester and during her Diploma study, she received the Vice Chancellor Award (Dean’s List all semesters). She also has working experience for four months as a Mechanical Engineering Technician (Building Maintenance) which covers Air Conditioning Systems, Irrigation Systems, Pumps, Fans and etc. before she pursued her bachelor’s degree study. Due to her huge passion towards research and knowledge, she is in the final process of converting her Masters study to PhD study. Her current areas of research interest focus on Engineering Mechanics and Biomaterials, which cover both hard and soft biocomposite materials.