Mechanical Properties of Biocomposites Using Polypropylene and Sesame Oil Cake
Sesame oil cakes (SOC) produced during sesame oil production can be classified as plant residues. This study aims to use SOC as a composite material for injection molding. A biocomposite containing polypropylene (PP) and SOC, namely PP/SOC, was developed and its mechanical properties were evaluated. PP/SOC is largely divided into Homo-PP/SOC (HPS) based on Homo-PP and Block-PP/SOC (BPS) based on block-PP. The specimens containing 0–50 wt% SOC were prepared through extrusion and injection molding. As a result of the evaluation, SOC acted as a reinforcement in the matrix, and HPS and BPS showed improved flexural modulus by 36.4% and 37.3% compared to the neat PP, respectively. Tensile strength, on the other hand, decreased by 58% and 55.1%, respectively. To analyze the cause of this, cross-section observation was conducted through scanning electron microscope (SEM), and phase separation and voids were confirmed to be the cause of this. Impact strength of PP/SOC tended to vary depending on the type of matrix. HPS increased by 30.9% compared to neat PP, and BPS decreased by 25%. This tendency difference appears to be the result of SOC inhibiting crystallization of PP, and it has been confirmed through x ray diffraction (XRD) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis. Moreover, PP/SOC can be manufactured at a low cost and is environmentally friendly because it utilizes SOC, a plant residue. It can also be applied to commercial products, such as food packaging, owing to its good moldability and improved mechanical properties.