Effect of Harvesting Time and Water Retting Fiber Processing Methods on the Physico-mechanical Properties of Kenaf Fiber

Hazwani Husna Abdullah, Sarani Zakaria, Noor Intan Saffinaz Anuar, Kushairi Mohd Salleh, Sharifah Nabihah Syed Jaafar

Abstract


Fiber processing is an important factor that affects the physical and mechanical properties of long kenaf fiber. The physical-mechanical properties, such as color, tensile strength, and moisture regain (MR), are the main characteristics that influence the processing and performance on the final products from kenaf fiber. The objective of this research was to evaluate the physical and mechanical properties of kenaf fiber at the week of planting, with different processing methods that were planted in a selected location in Malaysia. Kenaf fiber was separated by the water retting method, where the combination of water retting and mechanical retting was based on the available facilities and proficiency at the sites. The tensile strength and chemical composition of kenaf fiber showed large variability for every location collected and for each processing technique used. Visual observations and color testing indicated that kenaf fiber with extended water immersion exhibited higher lightness and smoother fiber. A slight reduction in moisture regains was observed with increased crystallinity index. The differences among properties of the kenaf fiber that were influenced by harvesting week and processing methods could give some references and overview for the planters, suppliers, industries, and researchers to identify the suitable fiber quality for their targeted final products.

Keywords


Chemical composition; Color testing; Moisture regain; Mechanical separation

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