Strawberry is one of the most favored fruits all along the world. But due to its vulnerability to microbial contamination and short life storage, there are lots of problems in industrial production and transportation of this fruit. Therefore, lots of ideas have tried to increase the storage life of strawberries especially through proper packaging. This paper works on efficient packaging as well. The primary material used is produced through simple mixing of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and silver nanoparticles in different weight fractions of 0.5 and 1% in presence of dicumyl peroxide as a cross-linking agent. Final packages were made in a twin-screw extruder. Then, their effect on the quality maintenance of strawberry is evaluated. The SEM images of nano-silver packages show the distribution of silver nanoparticles in the packages. Total bacteria count, mold, yeast and E. coli are measured for microbial evaluation of all samples. Texture, color, appearance, odor, taste and total acceptance of various samples are evaluated by trained panelists and based on 9-point hedonic scale method. The results show a decrease in total bacteria count and mold in nano-silver packages compared to the samples packed in polyethylene packages for the same storage time. The optimum concentration of silver nanoparticles for the lowest bacteria count and mold is predicted to be around 0.5% which has attained the most acceptance from the panelist as well. Moreover, organoleptic properties of strawberry are preserved for a longer period in nano-silver packages. It can be concluded that using nano-silver particles in strawberry packages has improved the storage life and quality maintenance of the fruit.
Rice husk and kenaf filled with calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) composite were prepared separately using twin-screw extruder at 50rpm. Different filler loading up to 30 parts of rice husk particulate and kenaf fiber were mixed with the fixed 30% amount of CaCO3 mineral filler to produce rice husk/CaCO3/HDPE and kenaf/CaCO3/HDPE hybrid composites. In this study, the effects of natural fiber for both rice husk and kenaf in CaCO3/HDPE composite on physical, mechanical and morphology properties were investigated. Field Emission Scanning Microscope (FeSEM) was used to investigate the impact fracture surfaces of the hybrid composite. The property analyses showed that water absorption increased with the presence of kenaf and rice husk fillers. Natural fibers in composite significantly influence water absorption properties due to natural characters of fibers which contain cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin structures. The result showed that 10% of additional natural fibers into hybrid composite had caused decreased flexural strength, however additional of high natural fiber (>10%) filler loading has proved to increase its flexural strength.
In the present study, the incorporation of graphene into blends of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene terpolymer with polypropylene (ABS/PP) was investigated focusing on the improvement of their thermomechanical characteristics and the effect on their rheological behavior. The blends were prepared by melt mixing in a twin-screw extruder and were characterized by measuring the MFI as well as by performing DSC, TGA and mechanical tests. The addition of graphene to ABS/PP blends tends to increase their melt viscosity, due to the confinement of polymer chains motion. Also, graphene causes an increment of the crystallization temperature (Tc), especially in blends with higher PP content, because of the reduction of surface energy of PP nucleation, which is a consequence of the attachment of PP chains to the surface of graphene through the intermolecular CH-π interaction. Moreover, the above nanofiller improves the thermal stability of PP and increases the residue of thermal degradation at all the investigated compositions of blends, due to the thermal isolation effect and the mass transport barrier effect. Regarding the mechanical properties, the addition of graphene improves the elastic modulus, because of its intrinsic mechanical characteristics and its rigidity, and this effect is particularly strong in the case of pure PP.
In this research work, poly (acrylonitrile-butadienestyrene)/ polypropylene (ABS/PP) blends were processed by melt compounding in a twin-screw extruder. Upgrading of the thermal characteristics of the obtained materials was attempted by the incorporation of organically modified montmorillonite (OMMT), as well as, by the addition of two types of compatibilizers; polypropylene grafted with maleic anhydride (PP-g-MAH) and ABS grafted with maleic anhydride (ABS-g-MAH). The effect of the above treatments was investigated separately and in combination. Increasing the PP content in ABS matrix seems to increase the thermal stability of their blend and the glass transition temperature (Tg) of SAN phase of ABS. From the other part, the addition of ABS to PP promotes the formation of its β-phase, which is maximum at 30 wt% ABS concentration, and increases the crystallization temperature (Tc) of PP. In addition, it increases the crystallization rate of PP.The β-phase of PP in ABS/PP blends is reduced by the addition of compatibilizers or/and organoclay reinforcement. The incorporation of compatibilizers increases the thermal stability of PP and reduces its melting (ΔΗm) and crystallization (ΔΗc) enthalpies. Furthermore it decreases slightly the Tgs of PP and SAN phases of ABS/PP blends. Regarding the storage modulus of the ABS/PP blends, it presents a change in their behavior at about 10°C and return to their initial behavior at ~110°C. The incorporation of OMMT to no compatibilized and compatibilized ABS/PP blends enhances their storage modulus.
Toughening of polyamide 6 (PA6)/ Nanoclay (NC) nanocomposites with styrene-ethylene/butadiene-styrene copolymer (SEBS) using maleated styrene-ethylene/butadiene-styrene copolymer (mSEBS)/ as a compatibilizer were investigated by blending them in a co-rotating twin-screw extruder. Response surface method of experimental design was used for optimizing the material and processing parameters. Effect of four factors, including SEBS, mSEBS and NC contents as material variables and order of mixing as a processing factor, on toughness of hybrid nanocomposites were studied. All the prepared samples showed ductile behavior and low temperature Izod impact toughness of some of the hybrid nanocomposites demonstrated 900% improvement compared to the PA6 matrix while the modulus showed maximum enhancement of 20% compared to the pristine PA6 resin.