Preliminary Evaluation of Composite Panels Produced from Rice Husk and Recycled Polystyrene Material
Rice husk particles categorised as fine (size ≤ 0.6 mm), and coarse (0.6 mm ≤ size ≤ 1.8 mm) were mixed with a binder obtained by recycling expanded polystyrene waste, to formulate composites. Formulation was carried out using different particles to binder ratios as follows: 1:1, 1:1.5, 1:2). Fine particle composites were designated F1:1, F1:1.5 and F1:2, while the coarse particle composites were designated C1:1, C1:1.5 and C1:2. The composites were casted, and some physical properties such as: dry/cure time in air (72±4 h - 168±6 h), density (0.48±0.04 g/dm3 – 2.75±0.08 g/dm3), water absorption (2.24±0.46 % - 58.91±1.11 %) and thickness swelling (1.43±0.06 % – 22.65±1.23 %), flammability tests and SEM images of the composite panels obtained were evaluated. Results showed that: dry time and density increased, water absorption and thickness swelling decreased while flammability increased (ignition time decreased and propagation rate increased), as the amount of the recycled polystyrene binder was increased in the composites. Relative to particle size aggregate, coarse particle composites exhibits shorter drying time, lower density, higher water absorption and weaker flame retardation compared to the fine composites with corresponding ratios.
Keywords:Composite Panels, Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), Recycled Polystyrene (RPS), Rice Husk (RH)
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