Effect of Single and Double Stage Chemically Treated Kenaf Fibers on Mechanical Properties of Polyvinyl Alcohol Film

Md Ershad Ali, Ching Kuan Yong, Yern Chee Ching, Cheng Hock Chuah, Nai-Shang Liou


The physico-mechanical properties of lignocellulosic kenaf fiber reinforced polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) biocomposite films were investigated. To improve the properties of the biocomposite, kenaf fibers were chemically treated separately in a single stage (with Cr2(SO4)312(H2O)) and double stages (with CrSO4 and NaHCO3) to improve the adhesion and compatibility between the kenaf fiber and PVA matrix. PVA was reinforced with various compositions of chemically treated kenaf fiber by using a solution casting technique. Microstructural analyses and mechanical tests were subsequently conducted. Scanning electron microscopic analysis indicated that chemical treatment improved the uniformity distribution of kenaf fiber within the PVA matrix. FTIR and XRD analyses confirmed the presence of chromium on the fiber surface. The tensile strength of PVA reinforced with chemical treated kenaf fiber was found to be higher than those reinforced with untreated kenaf. The Young’s modulus, flexural strength, and flexural modulus increased with fiber loading for both untreated and treated kenaf fiber reinforced PVA films. The double stage treated kenaf fiber showed better mechanical properties and lower moisture uptake than the single stage treated kenaf fiber.


Kenaf fiber; PVA; Biocomposite film; Chromium treatment; Mechanical properties

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