Horsetail (Equisetum Arvense) as a Functional Filler for Natural Rubber Biocomposites
Materials , Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13112526
Abstract: Over the past decades, increased scientific and research activity has been observed in the development of new, innovative materials for various end uses. This is mainly due to the growing ecological, environmental, and material awareness of many industries and societies. Equisteum arvense-horsetail is a plant that has demonstrated its properties in pharmacological and clinical aspects as well as in vitro and in vivo biological activity. This article presents a new method of using horsetail as a natural, lignocellulosic filler for a natural rubber matrix. In-depth characteristics of the applied bio-additive were prepared based on several research techniques and methods such as ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-RAY spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and flame atomic absorption spectroscopy. Elastomer composites were prepared as a function of horsetail content. Then, an analysis of their main functional properties was performed, including mechanical properties and susceptibility to accelerated aging processes such as thermo-oxidative, ultraviolet radiation, and weathering. The research emphasizes the significant value of horsetail in its new role—as an active filler of elastomer biocomposites. The obtained results confirmed that horsetail is lignocellulosic material thermally stable up to 180 °C. Horsetail is an active filler to natural rubber, positively affecting mechanical strength. Due to the presence of flavonoids and phenolic acids in horsetail, it can be used as a polymer anti-aging agent.
Keywords: biocomposites / natural rubber / Horsetail / equisteum arvense
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