Preparation and Characterization of Sol-gel Silica-modified Kenaf Bast Microfiber/Polypropylene Composites

Muzafar Zulkifli, Md. Sohrab Hossain, Nor Afifah Khalil, Ahmad Naim Ahmad Yahaya, Fahmi Asyadi Md Yusof, Azanam Shah Hashim

Abstract


The present study was conducted to determine the influence of the chemically modified kenaf bast fiber (KBF) on the mechanical, morphological, and thermal properties of fiber-reinforced polypropylene composites. The KBF was modified via the in situ sol-gel silica process through soaking the KBF in tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) at a pH of 11, room temperature (25 °C ± 1 °C), and a KBF to TEOS ratio of 1:10 for 24 h. Silica successfully formed on the surface of the KBF. Subsequently, the sol-gel silica-modified KBF was utilized to produce sol-gel silica-modified KBF-reinforced polypropylene (PP-KBF-S) composites. Several analytical methods were utilized to determine the mechanical, morphological, and thermal properties of the PP-KBF-S composites, which were then compared with those of the untreated KBF-reinforced polypropylene composite. The findings revealed that sol-gel silica modification of the KBF reduced the void content and enhanced the mechanical properties and thermal stability of the PP-KBF-S.

Keywords


Chemical modification; Sol-gel silica; Kenaf bast fiber; Polypropylene composite

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