Mechanical Properties of Kenaf - Unsaturated Polyester Composites: Effect of Fiber Treatment and Fiber Length
Kenaf fibre is a natural fibre which is growing in popularity due environmental issues and its properties as filler. Unsaturated polyester was used in this investigation via add 1% MEKP concentration ratio as the catalyst. This matrix was combined with untreated kenaf fiber with various fiber sizes (1-6) mm and (10-30) mm, alkalized with 6% NaOH solution for treated kenaf fiber to form natural fiber for two different fiber lengths composites. Composites were prepared by adding various percentages of kenaf fiber in unsaturated polyester resin. A general trend was observed whereby alkalized fiber composites possessed superior flexural strength and modulus and the maximum strength and modulus was at the 20wt% weight fraction. The length of (10-30) mm gave higher tensile and flexural properties compared to (1-6) mm. The modulus of elasticity showed a regular trend of an increase with fiber weight percent until 30% for both fiber lengths and afterwards a decrease in modulus of elasticity for composites with greater fiber weight fraction. The experimental modulus of elasticity was compared with the theoretical predictions and was found to be in good agreement with Hirsch’s model while the results obtained from Cox – Krenchel underestimating the experimental data.
E. Osman et al., "Mechanical Properties of Kenaf - Unsaturated Polyester Composites: Effect of Fiber Treatment and Fiber Length", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 311-313, pp. 260-271, 2011