The Physical and Morphological Properties of Kenaf/ Epoxy Fibres in Coating Treatment Process
Natural fibre is an economical material that often used in various applications due to its low in density, non-abrasiveness in processing and biodegradable. But, its usage in various applications is still limited due to the low in overall properties. The acceptable method to improve the properties of the fibres is by chemical treatment method that is costly, meticulous process and high energy demand. Thus, a new, simple and cost-effective fibre coating treatment method was developed which was able to improve the physical and morphological properties that open a new path for natural based materials to be used in a more robust application. In this study, the physical and morphological properties of various coated Kenaf fibres were analysed to comprehend the cutting behaviour of coated fibres after subjected to the pulverisation process. The Kenaf fibres were individually immersed in 1:4, 1:5 and 1:6 epoxy to acetone coating solutions prior cured, and pulverised consecutively using 5 mm, 1 mm, 0.5 mm and 0.25 mm mesh sizes aperture. The morphological characteristic was analysed using polarised optical and scanning electron microscope. The result showed that 1:6 coating ratio solution able to effectively coat the fibres’ aspect ratio that forming individual coated fibre which in long length pulverised fibres. Moreover, the low viscous 1:6 solution able to penetrate inside fibre structure that supported by density and fibre cross-section analysis compare to the other solutions. In future, this analysis is crucial to give insight on the coated fibres behaviour after subjected to the mechanical means of cutting process that later relates to the reinforcing mechanism in the composite samples.
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