Improvement of mechanical properties of natural fiber reinforced jute/ polyester epoxy composite through meticulous alkali treatment
This work aims to improve the mechanical properties of jute fabric reinforced composites. Jute fabric were treated with 5% alkali (NaOH) solution for different time durations (3 hrs. 5 hrs. 7 hrs.) at room temperature. Treated jute fabrics were used as reinforcing material to produce jute/unsaturated polyester resin epoxy composites. Recycled (R-UPR) and virgin (V-UPR) polyester resin were used at different combinations (100%V-UPR, 100%R-UPR, 50%V-UPR and 50% R-UPR) as epoxy. The effect of alkali treatment and mixing proportion of recycled and virgin polyester resin on tensile strength, tensile modulus, flexural strength and flexural modulus of the composites were studied and characterized as referred as in corresponding ASTM standards. Results indicates an improvement on tensile strength and flexural strength in alkali treated composites compared to untreated composites may due to better adhesion of polyester resin with alkali treated fiber matrix present in jute fabric. Higher tensile and flexural strength on the composite produced by using recycled polyester resin compared to the composite produced by using virgin polyester resin also been perceived in the consequences.
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