Premala Krishnamoorthy, W.V.Vicki
Abstract: In recent days, the use of synthetic materials has been increasing rapidly. However the use of synthetic materials have great impact to the environment due to its non-biodegradable nature This draws the interest of researchers to focus on development of natural fiber composites to substitute synthetic fiber composites due to several advantages in the properties of the material. In this study, Kenaf fiber are reinforced with thermosetting polyurethane to develop a polymer matrix based biocomposite material. The aim of this research is to study the effect of Kenaf fiber composition on the mechanical and morphological properties of Kenaf fiber reinforced polyurethane (PU) biocomposite material.The sample preparation was performed by casting method by mixing the Kenaf fiber and the polyurethane to form the biocomposite. Different composition of Kenaf fiber and PU was investigated in this study, namely 2 %, 4 %, 6 %, 8 % and 10 % weight percentage. The biocomposite sample with 10 % wt. fiber loadings exhibited highest impact strength and hardness value compared to the rest of the biocomposite compostion. Increase in fiber loading, increases the hardness and impact strength of the composite. Morphological properties of the impact fractured showed that there is good fiber and matrix bonding in the Kenaf/PU biocomposite.
Keywords: Kenaf fiber, polyurethane, biocomposites, mechanical properties