Environmental effect of water absorption and flexural strength of red mud filled jute fiber/polymer composite
Natural fibers are considered as a good reinforcement in composite material because of their good mechanical properties and low density. However the main drawback of these fibers is moisture absorption in their outdoor applications. The present investigation is aimed at processing a composite using jute fiber and epoxy resin as matrix and red mud as a filler material. The degradation of the composite mechanical properties such as flexural strength has been studied when it is subjected to different environmental conditions. To increase the adhesion between fiber and matrix material and to increase the moisture resistance chemical surface treatment has been performed on the fibers. The composites flexural strength and moisture resistance with modified fibers have also been investigated. It was found that chemical modification of fibers reduced the overall water uptake of the jute fibers. The flexural strength of the composite with modified fibers increases significantly compared to untreated fibers.
Keywords: Jute fiber, Red mud, Alkali treatment, Flexural Strength, Weathering behavior