, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 107-114

Kenaf/Ramie Composite for Automotive Headliner

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An increasing industrial interest is applications of kenaf and ramie fiber nonwovens for making automotive interior trim parts because of their excellent strength and renewability. This paper presents a study on the manufacture and evaluation of the kenaf/ramie nonwoven composite for this automotive end use. Carding, needle-punching, and wet bonding were used to fabricate the composite. End-use performance of the composite, in terms of tensile strength, thermal conductivity, dynamic mechanical property, and bonding structure, was tested using a series of instruments in accordance with the ASTM methods. Bonding performance of the polyvinyl alcohol binder and acrylic copolymer binder was also compared. Research results revealed that the acrylic-copolymer bonded composite was significantly anisotropic in both tensile and bending deformation and the polyvinyl-alcohol bonded composite was significantly anisotropic only in bending deformation. For the acrylic-copolymer bonded composite, increase of padding times helped enhance tensile properties. The acrylic-copolymer bonded composite also exhibited a better performance in dynamic thermal mechanical deformation but indicated insignificant difference of thermal conductivity compared to the polyvinyl-alcohol bonded composite.