What is it about?

The morphological characteristics of Arenga pinnata–silicone biocomposite (APSil) after swelling tests were investigated and compared to pure silicone rubber. The nature of fibre/matrix interface of the swelled samples was examined using an electron microscope. The addition of Arenga pinnata (AP) filler in silicone rubber shows less cracking in comparison to that without filler. The addition of AP filler improves the swelling properties of silicone rubber which makes it a good candidate for sealing application.

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Why is it important?

The sealing potential of silicone rubber is well known due to its superior properties towards chemical and thermal resistance. In addition, its high flexibility provides the added advantage of excellent vibration and energy absorption characteristics, making it suitable for use in moving parts. There are many studies on silicone composite, but few focus on reinforcing silicone rubber with natural fibre. Traditionally made as a ship rope, Arenga pinnata (AP) fibre has the capability of withstanding the saltiness of the sea which motivated this study to use it as a filler.


In recent years, the potential of silicone rubber to be applied as a sealant has been reported and investigated via dynamic mechanical analysis, indentation, compression set, aging, and swelling tests. Among these, the study of swelling behaviour is crucial for observing the significant changes in terms of volume, weight and swelling rate of the materials. Swelled rubber that reacts well with the working fluid indicates an effective seal. Excellent sealing materials are highly desired for piping in petroleum, medical, electronics and automotive industries; where seals failure causes huge economical and energy impacts. To the best of authors’ knowledge, there are no studies reported about reinforcing AP fibres into silicone rubber for sealing applications such as O-rings.

Jamaluddin Mahmud
Universiti Teknologi MARA

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Swelling behaviour and morphological analysis of Arenga pinnata–silicone biocomposite, Materials Letters, May 2019, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.matlet.2019.01.100.
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