Effect of Alkali Treatment on Impact Behavior of Areca Fibers Reinforced Polymer Composites
Natural fibers are considered to have potential use as reinforcing agents in polymer composite materials because of their principal benefits: moderate strength and stiffness, low cost, and being an environmental friendly, degradable, and renewable material. A study has been carried out to evaluate impact properties of composites made by areca fibers reinforced urea formaldehyde, melamine urea formaldehyde and epoxy resins. The extracted areca fibers from the areca husk were alkali treated with potassium hydroxide (KOH) to obtain better interfacial bonding between fiber and matrix. Then composites were produced by means of compression molding technique with varying process parameters, such as fiber condition (untreated and alkali treated), and fiber loading percentages (50% and 60% by weight). The developed areca fiber reinforced composites were then characterized by impact test. The results show that, impact strength increase with increase in the loading percentage. It is observed that, treated areca fiber reinforcement increases impact strength when compared to untreated areca fiber reinforcement.
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