Processing and Characterization of Epoxy/Luffa Composites: Investigation on Chemical Treatment of Fibers on Mechanical and Acoustical Properties

Elammaran Jayamani, Sinin Hamdan, Md Rezaur Rahman, Kok Heng Soon, Muhammad Khusairy Bin Bakri

Abstract


This study focuses on the development of epoxy/luffa composites and the investigation of their mechanical and acoustical properties. The fibers underwent an alkalization treatment, and its effects on the mechanical and sound absorption properties of the composites were measured utilizing a universal testing machine and two-microphone transfer function impedance tube methods. The effects of chemical modifications on the fibers were studied using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The thermal analyses of composites were conducted using thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA). The composite’s functional group was identified and evaluated using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The sound absorption coefficient of untreated and treated composites across a range of frequencies was very similar. Untreated composites appeared to perform better than those that were treated. Compared with untreated fiber composites, there was an improvement in the tensile strength of the treated fiber composites. The SEM characterization showed that the alkaline treatment changed the morphology of the fibers, resulting in a decrease in the sound absorption coefficients of the composites. The thermal characterization of composites showed that dehydration and degradation of lignin occurred in a temperature range of 40 to 260 °C, and the maximum percentage of cellulose was found to decompose at 380 °C.

Keywords


Composites; Natural fibers; Acoustic absorption; Mechanical Properties; Characterisation

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