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Friday, 7 October 2016
Coconut fibre reinforced polyethylene composites: effect of natural waxy surface layer of the fibre on fibre/matrix interfacial bonding and strength of composites
Regional Research laboratory (CSIR), Council of Scientific and Ind. Res., Thiruvananthapuram 695 019, Kerala, India
Received 13 October 2003. Revised 27 July 2004. Accepted 1 September 2004. Available online 23 November 2004.
Coconut fibre has been used as reinforcement in low-density polyethylene. The effect of natural waxy surface layer of the fibre on fibre/matrix interfacial bonding and composite properties has been studied by single fibre pullout test and evaluating the tensile properties of oriented discontinuous fibre composites. The waxy layer provided good fibre–matrix bond such that removal of the layer resulted in drastic decrease of the fibre pullout stress, increase of the critical fibre length and corresponding decrease in tensile strength and modulus of the composites. The waxy layer of polymeric nature also exhibited a stronger effect on interfacial bonding than by grafted layer of a C15long-chain alkyl molecule onto the wax-free fibre. The morphological features of the fibre along with its surface compatibility with the matrix favours oriented flow of relatively long fibres along with the molten matrix during extrusion.