Studies on physico-mechanical behaviour of kenaf/glass fiber reinforced epoxy hybrid composites
In this study, various treated, untreated, and treated kenaf/glass fiber composites were fabricated using epoxy resin. A portion of kenaf fibers were subjected to treatment with alkali, sub-portion was taken for benzoyl peroxide and potassium permanganate prior to composite fabrication. This treatment on the composite material was undertaken to achieve improved modification of the interface between the matrix and fiber bond. A portion of the glass fiber was used for enhancing the mechanical properties of the hybrid composite. The tensile strength, flexural, density, water absorption and chemical resistance of the composites were analyzed using standard methods. FTIR was conducted on the fiber to ascertain the chemical treatment on the fibers, FESEM was used for the morphological study. The results obtained showed that the tensile and flexural strength improved from 46.45-298.3 kgf, and 10.5-54.7 kgf, respectively, in the composite samples. Chemical resistance of the kenaf fiber treated potassium permanganate composite improved compared to the untreated fiber composite in both cases. The density and water absorption properties of the composites were found to decrease in the treated fibers compared to untreated fiber composites, this treated composites showed less water absorption and density. The FTIR result revealed that reaction has taken place between the fiber and the treatment reagent. Hence, fiber modification has improved the properties of the composites due to increase in fiber-matrix interaction.
KEY WORDS: Chemical properties, Epoxy resin, Hybrid, Kenaf, Mechanical strength, Natural fiber
Bull. Chem. Soc. Ethiop. 2021, 35(1), 171-184.