Effect of Chemical Treatment on the Mechanical Properties of Luffa Fiber Reinforced Epoxy Composite
Keywords:Luffa Fiber, Benzoyl Chloride Treatment, Mechanical Properties, Natural Fiber Composite
Novel luffa fiber reinforced epoxy composites are prepared and their mechanical properties are investigated before and after chemical treatment. The unique natural knitting structure of luffa provides an excellent reinforcement to the epoxy matrix. Knowing that the fiber-matrix bond gets stronger and imparts more strength to the composite when chemical treatment is done on fibers, composites are manufactured by untreated and treated luffa fiber using epoxy as a matrix. Luffa fiber is treated using benzoyl chloride and NaOH. Tensile and flexural tests are conducted on composites to investigate the effect of chemical treatment. Test results have shown that the chemical treatment on fibers improved the tensile strength, tensile modulus, flexural strength and flexural modulus by 27.21%, 49.37%, 41.84% and 6.44% respectively. Tensile modulus of luffa fiber composite is found to be higher compared with commonly used natural fiber composites. The experimental investigation suggests that, chemically treated luffa fiber reinforced epoxy composites could be a potential lightweight material in various applications.
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