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    Assessing Mechanical Properties of Jute, Kenaf, and Pineapple Leaf Fiber-Reinforced Polypropylene Composites: Experiment and Modelling

    Sayeed, MM Alamgir, Sayem, Abu Sadat Muhammad, Haider, Julfikar ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7010-8285, Akter, Sharmin, Habib, Md Mahmudul, Rahman, Habibur and Shahinur, Sweety (2023) Assessing Mechanical Properties of Jute, Kenaf, and Pineapple Leaf Fiber-Reinforced Polypropylene Composites: Experiment and Modelling. Polymers, 15 (4). 830.

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    Abstract

    The application of natural fibers is increasing rapidly in the polymer-based composites. This study investigates manufacturing and characterization of polypropylene (PP) based composites reinforced with three different natural fibers: jute, kenaf, and pineapple leaf fiber (PALF). In each case, the fiber weight percentages were varied by 30 wt.%, 35 wt.%, and 40 wt.%. Mechanical properties such as tensile, flexural, and impact strengths were determined by following the relevant standards. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was employed to identify the chemical interactions between the fiber and the PP matrix material. Tensile strength and Izod impact strength of the composites significantly increased for all the composites with different fiber contents when compared to the pure PP matrix. The tensile moduli of the composites were compared to the values obtained from two theoretical models based on the modified “rule of mixtures” method. Results from the modelling agreed well with the experimental results. Tensile strength (ranging from 43 to 58 MPa), flexural strength (ranging from 53 to 67 MPa), and impact strength (ranging from 25 to 46 kJ/m2) of the composites significantly increased for all the composites with different fiber contents when compared to the pure PP matrix having tensile strength of 36 MPa, flexural strength of 53 Mpa, and impact strength of 22 kJ/m2. Furthermore, an improvement in flexural strength but not highly significant was found for majority of the composites. Overall, PALF-PP displayed better mechanical properties among the composites due to the high tensile strength of PALF. In most of the cases, T98 (degradation temperature at 98% weight loss) of the composite samples was higher (532–544 °C) than that of 100% PP (500 °C) matrix. Fractured surfaces of the composites were observed in a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and analyses were made in terms of fiber matrix interaction. This comparison will help the researcher to select any of the natural fiber for fiber-based reinforced composites according to the requirement of the final product.

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