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Article

The Effect of Alkali Treatment on Physical, Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Kenaf Fiber and Polymer Epoxy Composites

Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi 43600, Malaysia
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Academic Editors: Bernardo Zuccarello and Antonio Pantano
Polymers 2021, 13(12), 2005; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13122005
Received: 1 April 2021 / Revised: 7 May 2021 / Accepted: 11 May 2021 / Published: 19 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Performance Biocomposite Reinforced by Natural Fibers)
The use of kenaf fiber as a reinforcement material for polymer composites is gaining popularity, especially in the production of automotive components. The main objective of this current work is to relate the effect of alkali treatment on the single fiber itself and the composite material simultaneously. The effect of temperature condition during mechanical testing is also investigated. Composite materials with discontinuous natural kenaf fibers and epoxy resin were fabricated using a compression moulding process. The epoxy composites were reinforced with 50 wt% untreated and treated kenaf fibers. The kenaf fiber was treated with NaOH solution (6% by weight) for 24 h at room temperature. Kenaf fiber treated with NaOH treatment had a clean surface and no impurities. For the first time we can see that alkali treatment had a damaging effect on the mechanical properties of kenaf fibers itself and the treated kenaf/epoxy composites. The composite reinforced with untreated kenaf fiber and treated kenaf fiber showed increased tensile strength (72.85% and 12.97%, respectively) compared to the neat epoxy. Reinforcement of the composite with treated kenaf fiber decreased the tensile strength due to the fiber pull out and the formation of voids which weakens the adhesion between the fibers and matrix. The temperature conditions also play an important role in composites with a significant impact on the deterioration of composite materials. Treated kenaf fiber has thermal stability and is not sensitive to temperature and as a result reinforcement with treated kenaf gives a lower loss value of 76%. View Full-Text
Keywords: kenaf composites; compression moulding; physical properties; mechanical properties kenaf composites; compression moulding; physical properties; mechanical properties
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ismail, N.F.; Mohd Radzuan, N.A.; Sulong, A.B.; Muhamad, N.; Che Haron, C.H. The Effect of Alkali Treatment on Physical, Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Kenaf Fiber and Polymer Epoxy Composites. Polymers 2021, 13, 2005. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13122005

AMA Style

Ismail NF, Mohd Radzuan NA, Sulong AB, Muhamad N, Che Haron CH. The Effect of Alkali Treatment on Physical, Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Kenaf Fiber and Polymer Epoxy Composites. Polymers. 2021; 13(12):2005. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13122005

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ismail, Nur F., Nabilah A. Mohd Radzuan, Abu B. Sulong, Norhamidi Muhamad, and Che H. Che Haron 2021. "The Effect of Alkali Treatment on Physical, Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Kenaf Fiber and Polymer Epoxy Composites" Polymers 13, no. 12: 2005. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13122005

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