Characteristics of kenaf fibre/epoxy composites subjected to thermal degradation

Azwa, Z. N. and Yousif, B. F. (2013) Characteristics of kenaf fibre/epoxy composites subjected to thermal degradation. Polymer Degradation and Stability, 98 (12). 2752-2759. ISSN 0141-3910


Kenaf fibres are receiving much attention in the natural fibre composite industry due to its potential as polymer reinforcements. However, like all natural fibres, kenaf fibres have lower thermal resistance as compared to synthetic fibres. In this current work, the characteristics of kenaf fibre/epoxy composites, both treated and untreated using alkalization process, exposed to high temperature were studied. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was used to study the thermal decomposition behaviour of treated and untreated kenaf/epoxy composites as well as their components, kenaf fibre and neat epoxy from room temperature up to 600 °C. The weight loss and physical changes of these samples were observed through furnace pyrolysis. Surface morphology of the composites after degradation was observed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results from the TGA showed that the addition of kenaf fibres into the epoxy slightly improves both the charring and thermal stability of the samples. However, it was observed that alkalization causes reduction in these behaviours for the kenaf/epoxy composite. Generally, increased exposure time causes higher weight loss of the composites only up to 150 °C. At higher temperature, duration of exposure has little influence on the weight loss. Fibre-matrix debondings were observed on degraded samples implying mechanical degradation of the composites had occurred.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Available online 22 October 2013. Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2014 07:21
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2016 06:04
Uncontrolled Keywords: natural fibre composites; kenaf fibre; thermosets; thermal degradation; thermogravimetric analysis (TGA); furnace pyrolysis
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090503 Construction Materials
03 Chemical Sciences > 0306 Physical Chemistry (incl. Structural) > 030602 Chemical Thermodynamics and Energetics
09 Engineering > 0912 Materials Engineering > 091209 Polymers and Plastics
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 87 Construction > 8703 Construction Materials Performance and Processes > 870399 Construction Materials Performance and Processes not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2013.10.008

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