Properties and Characterization of Kenaf-Filled Natural Rubber Latex Foam

Ahmad Fikri Abdul Karim, Hanafi Ismail, Zulkifli Mohamad Ariff


Kenaf powder was incorporated with natural rubber latex (NRL) compound and foamed to make natural rubber latex foam (NRLF) by using a well known technique called the Dunlop method. Different loadings of kenaf powder were added to NRL compound and was foamed to make NRLF. The mechanical properties, density, compression, thermal, and micro-structural characterization of control NRLF and kenaf incorporated NRLF were studied. Increasing content of kenaf reduced the tensile strength, elongation at break, and compressive strength of a NRLF. Modulus at 100% elongation and density of the NRLF increased with an increase in filler loading. Higher kenaf loading indicated higher elasticity of kenaf-filled NRLF, but the recovery percentage of kenaf-filled NRLF decreased with increasing kenaf loading. From thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) result, an increase in the amount of kenaf loading from 1 to 7 phr increased the thermal stability of kenaf-filled NRLF. Morphological and micro-structural characterization performed by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed that kenaf powder filled up the micro-sized pores in the open cell structure of kenaf-filled NRLF.


Properties; Characterization; Natural rubber latex; Kenaf; Foam

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