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Characterisation of natural cellulosic fibre from Pennisetum purpureum stem as potential reinforcement of polymer composites

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Geoff Gibson


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Pennisetum purpureum (PP) fibres were comprehensively characterised to assess their potential as reinforcing materials in polymer composites. The fibres were treated with 5, 7, 10, 12, and 15% sodium hydroxide wt.% concentration for 24 h. The fibres were subjected to single fibre tensile tests, thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The average diameter of the untreated fibres was 0.24 +/- 0.02 mm, and the treated fibres had an average diameter of less than 0.21 +/- 0.03 mm, yielding a 12-45% reduction in the diameter. The moisture content of the treated fibres decreased as the concentration of the alkali increased. The morphological observation demonstrated that as the alkali concentration increased, the fibre becomes more compressed due to collapse the cellular/lumen structure, the void content decreased, and its surface became rougher. The 5% alkali-treated fibre achieved an average maximum ultimate tensile stress of 141 +/- 24 MPa. Young's modulus on the other hand, decreased from an average of 5.68 +/- 0.14 GPa for untreated fibre to only 0.55 +/- 0.17 GPa as the alkali concentrations increased from 5 to 15%. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ridzuan MJM, Majid MSA, Afendi M, Kanafiah SNA, Zahri JM, Gibson AG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Materials & Design

Year: 2016

Volume: 89

Pages: 839-847

Print publication date: 05/01/2016

Online publication date: 22/10/2015

Acceptance date: 13/10/2015

ISSN (print): 0261-3069

ISSN (electronic): 1873-4197

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.matdes.2015.10.052


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Funder referenceFunder name
Universiti Malaysia Perlis
9018-00072Ministry of Education, Malaysia (RAGS)