Effect of Alkali Treatment on Mechanical and Morphological Properties of Pineapple Leaf Fibre/Polyester Composites
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In this study, our aim is to analyze the influence of fibre treatments and different fibre loading on mechanical, physical and chemical properties of pineapple leaf fibre reinforced polyester composites (PALF/PE). Fibre treatments were carried out with 1 N NaOH and KOH for 1 h. The untreated and treated PALF/PE composites were fabricated with 25 wt%, 35 wt% and 45 wt% fibre loadings by compression molding technique. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to understand the effects of chemical treatment on PALF mechanical test results revealed that 45 wt% of PALF/PE composites treated with NaOH showed a 35% increase in tensile strength compared to untreated PALF/PE composites. The tensile modulus and the flexural module are also the highest at 45 wt% of KOH treated composites. The highest impact strength of 70 J/m was obtained for PALF/PE composites with NaOH treated fibres at 25% fibre loading. The results show that the fibre treatments in terms of the flexural and inter-laminar shear strength of composites were not effective. SEM of the tensile fractured specimen of PALF/PE composites revealed the changes in fibre characteristics due to the alkali treatment and less fibre pull-out at higher fibre loading. Overall we conclude that 1 N NaOH, 45 wt% treated PALF/PE composites satisfactorily and effectively improved both the mechanical and morphological properties. Obtained composites would be promising for construction materials, furniture and automotive components due to their superior strength and modulus at higher fibre loading.
KeywordsPineapple leaf fibre Polyester composites Alkali treatment Mechanical properties Morphological properties Inter-laminar shear strength
The authors extend their gratitude to the “Kalasalingam Academy of Research and Education, Tamilnadu, India and Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products (INTROP), Universiti Putra Malaysia” for their collaborations and financial support from HiCOE Grant No. 6963108. This research was partly supported by the King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok through the Post-Doc Program (Grant No. KMUTNB-61-Post-003 and KMUTNB-62-KNOW-13).
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