Improving Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Injection Moulded Kenaf Fibre-reinforced Polyhydroxy-butyrate Composites through Fibre Surface Treatment

Aziz Hassan, Mohd Isa Muhammad Rafiq, Mohd Ishak Zainal Ariffin


Ecofriendly biodegradable composites were developed to mitigate the impact they have on the environment. Composites made from completely biodegradable materials were prepared using kenaf fibres and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB). The composites were mixed using a twin screw extruder and injection moulded into dumbbell-shaped specimens. The composites were subjected to thermal analysis via differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and mechanical testing (tensile and flexural tests). The addition of alkali-treated kenaf fibre reduced the crystallinity of PHB (up to 6% reduction), making it more ductile. The rheological behaviour of PHB was modified with the addition of kenaf fibres. Additionally, the flexural modulus was improved by up to 11% with the addition of kenaf fibres, for both the treated and untreated kenaf fibres. However, it was also observed that to improve fibre matrix adhesion, an alkali treatment alone is insufficient, as shown by the 16% reduction of tensile strength in composites with 20% fibre loading.


Biodegradable; Polyhydroxybutyrate; Rheology

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