In this study we evaluated the potential use of hazelnut shell powder in the production of a composite material. Polystyrene was used as a polymer matrix. This work presents the results of modifying hazelnut powder particles to create a polystyrene shell on their surfaces. Modification of the filler increased its contact angle wetted with water from θ=60.16±1.03° to θ=87.02±1.10°. Composite materials containing from 10 to 50 wt.% of modified hazelnut shell powder were prepared and studied. As a result of the experiments, it was found that the composites have optimal physical, mechanical, and operational properties at the following ratio: polystyrene 60-80 wt.%, modified hazelnut shell powder 20-40 wt.%. If the introduction of polystyrene was more than 90 wt.%, the flexural strength and Vickers hardness were quite low at the load of 200 g, and accordingly, the durability of such materials was not satisfactory. These samples are characterized by small percentages of hazelnut shells; therefore, the resulting material will be of pale, unsaturated color. The upper limit of the working temperature range for the composite lies between 265.0-376.0 °C, depending on the percentage of the hazelnut shell powder filling.
Keywords: composite material; hazelnut shell; modification; polystyrene matrix; water absorption.