Invited Speaker
Dr. Khalid Alzebdeh

Dr. Khalid Alzebdeh

Associate Professor
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Sultan Qaboos University
Sultanate of Oman
Speech Title: An Optimized Synthesis Route Toward Improved Interfacial Adhesion Strength in Particulate Date Palm Reinforced Polypropylene Composites

Abstract: Surface modification of bio-filler and hosting polymer in natural fiber reinforced composites is essential to promote compatibility between the two components. Limited number of studies on grafting of bio-filler to improve its reactivity with the polymer matrix have been reported in the literature. This research work is about statistical optimization of a crosslinking scheme through ester linkage between Date Palm Particles (DPP) and Polypropylene (PP). First, the chemical modifications of PP yielding PP-g-COOH is presented in an experimental setup by means of efficient and following taguchi design. Upon mixing the two ingredients, an ester linkage between filler and polymer is established. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to validate the reaction. Subsequently, bio-composite sheets were fabricated according to the design of experiment, and specimens were cut out and tested in terms of chemical characteristics, thermal stability, and physical and mechanical properties to confirm the effectiveness of the proposed technique. The results have shown that developed crosslinking enhanced the interfacial adhesion of the filler/polymer as was observed by SEM. Also, the mechanical properties of the new bio-composite with grafted ingredients were improved over the un-grafted counterpart. In particular, this research is a ground-breaking attempt for advanced polymeric composites reinforced with biomass-based particles towards improving their strength, ductility and reliability.

Keywords: Bio-Composites; Filler/Polymer Compatibility; Ester; Functionalization; Interfacial Bonding.

Biography: Dr. Khalid Alzebdeh has completed his PhD from Michigan State University, USA and postdoctoral studies from Michigan State University and Georgia Institute of Technology, USA. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Sultan Qaboos University, Sultanate of Oman. He has published more than 35 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as an editorial board member of several journals. Dr. Alzebdeh is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Minnesota, USA. His current research interests include technology innovation, processing of advanced materials, which include, bio-composites, nano-structured and cellular materials.