keywords: Feather fibres, shore A hardness, thermal stability, rubber vulcanizate
Several biowastes have been recently researched as possible substitute for carbon black as filler in natural rubber composites. This work shifted from the usual cellulosic waste to a keratinous waste-chicken feather currently posing environmental threats worldwide. Keratinous nanoparticles were prepared via top – bottom approach and validated via Dynamic Light Scattering analysis. The fillers and vulcanizing additives were mixed and compounded using a two roll mill and a compression moulding machine, respectively. The thermal stability and physicomechanical properties: shore A hardness, tensile strength, modulus 100 and elongation at break of natural rubber vulcanizates when filled with chicken feather fibre nanoparticles in comparison with carbon black filler were studied. The filler loadings ranged from 0 to 10 ppH at intervals of 2. From the results, nanoparticles from chicken feather fibres gave superior thermal stability with a residue of 15.55% as against 8.77%, increase in hardness by 6%, enhancement in modulus (M100) by 71% at 10 ppH, higher elongation at break of 49% at 2 ppH and wear percent of 0.3% as against 0.16% at 10 ppH, when compared with carbon black filled rubber vulcanizates.