The use of glass fibre in the production of fibre reinforced polymer composites industries is no longer acceptable as far as environmental pollution is concern. Therefore, the introduction of kenaf fibre as reinforcement materials in the production of composites is expected to lessen the use of current synthetic materials especially glass fibre. This research reported the performance of pultruded kenaf fibre reinforced composites after exposed to natural weathering condition up to 200 days. Three different linear mass density (Tex) of kenaf yarn fibre i.e. 1400, 2200 and 3300 g/km were used as reinforcement material in producing the pultruded composite samples. Moisture content of each composites was recorded over exposure time and the changes of mechanical properties i.e. flexural and compression properties were also recorded. It was found that sample made of 3300 linear mass density recorded higher moisture absorption as compared to sample with 1400 linear mass density. The flexural and compression properties consistently decreased throughout the exposure period as the absorption of moisture into the composites had weakened the interfacial bonding between the kenaf fibre and the matrix resin. The research outcomes show that for a given yarn architecture, lower linear mass density of fibre gives better moisture resistance and retain greater mechanical properties over the period of exposure. This study suggests that linear mass density is an important factor to be considered when pultrusion process in concern.
Journal of Cleaner Production – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 2016
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