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Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Treated Kenaf Bast Pulp Fiber Reinforcement in Epoxy Composite

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Due to environmental concerns, green composites have become a highly researched material. In the present study, kenaf fiber was used as reinforcement in epoxy-based composite with weight fraction ranges from 0, 5, 10, and 15% (w/w of resin). The ratio of epoxy to hardener was 65:32.5. Prior to incorporation, kenaf bast fiber underwent Soda-AQ pulping followed by total chlorine-free bleaching (OAZP sequence). The obtained pulp was then subjected to supercritical carbon dioxide extraction (SCE) treatment. It was observed that epoxy composite with 10% of fiber loading demonstrated the highest mechanical properties with a tensile strength of 64 MPa, tensile modulus of 1.64 GPa, flexural strength of 83 MPa, and flexural modulus of elasticity of 2.94 GPa. The observed improvement was due to the SCE process which enhanced the wetting process of fiber. However, at 15% mechanical properties decreased due to void formation since fiber could not be dispersed properly in epoxy matrix at high concentration.
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Keywords: EPOXY COMPOSITE; KENAF FIBER; MECHANICAL PROPERTIES; SUPERCRITICAL CARBON DIOXIDE EXTRACTION; WATER ABSORPTION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2017-10-01

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  • The Journal of Renewable Materials (JRM) publishes high quality peer reviewed original research on macromolecules and additives obtained from renewable/biobased resources. Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, JRM introduces cutting-edge research on biobased monomers, polymers, additives (both organic and inorganic), their blends and composites. It showcases both fundamental aspects and new applications for renewable materials. The fundamental theories and topics pertain to chemistry of biobased monomers, macromoners and polymers, their structure-property relationship, processing using sustainable methods, characterization (spectroscopic, morphological, thermal, mechanical, and rheological), bio and environmental degradation, and life cycle analysis. Demonstration of use of renewable materials and composites in applications including adhesives, bio and environmentally degradable structures, biomedicine, construction, electrical & electronics, mechanical, mendable and self-healing systems, optics, packaging, recycling, shape-memory, and stimulus responsive systems will be presented.
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