Fabrication and Characterization of the Sugar Palm Tree (Arenga pinnata) Fiber Composite Reinforced by Polyester Resin
Singarimbun, Aditia Warman
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Fabrication and characterization of palm sugar tree (Arenga pinnata) fiber composites reinforced by polyester resin had been done as an alternative material for neutron beam shield. The palm sugar tree fibers were taken from the village of Sembahe, a district of Deli Serdang, Sumatera Utara Province. Those samples were noted as pre productive, productive and post productive trees. Each tree was cut into small part then analyzed for chemical content. The compositions of sugar palm fiber were varied by 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20 % of volume fraction. These chemical contents are strongly related to the physical and mechanical properties. The maximum value of mechanical properties of the composites was found to be at 10 % in fiber composition. The average results of chemical composition from sugar palm tree fiber are cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin contents of 47.8%, 6.5%, 22.3%. Then the result of neutron activation analysis, several elements were identified such as Cl, Mn, K, Br, La, Cr, Fe, Hg, Sc and Zn on the composite containing sugar palm fibers enforced by polyester resin. The counts of neutron beams decreased as the content of sugar palm fibers increased. This fact implies that the composites containing sugar palm fibers can be used as shield materials for neutron beams. However, there was no effect on various length of fiber in decreasing beam counts. It was indication that sugar palm tree fiber has ability for neutron radiation shielding.