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Effect of Graphene Fillers on the Water Absorption and Mechanical Properties of NaOH-Treated Kenaf Fiber-Reinforced Epoxy Composites
, Mahtab Mashuq Tonmoy ,

This paper is focused on developing composites using kenaf fibers, epoxy polymer, and incorporation of graphene fillers. The kenaf fibers are treated with 5% NaOH to remove the hydrophilic nature and reinforced it with the hydrophobic matrix. The composites are fabricated using the compression moulding technique by keeping 60 wt.% epoxy as constant, and the graphene and kenaf fiber weights are changed accordingly. The samples for tensile, flexural, impact, hardness, and water absorption tests are prepared as per the ASTM D3039, D790, D256, D2240, and D572 standards, respectively. The effect of graphene fillers in the 5% NaOH-treated kenaf fibers reinforced with the epoxy matrix is tested. Among the various samples, sample 4 which has 6% graphene addition in the epoxy matrix reinforced with 5% treated kenaf fiber displayed the highest tensile strength of 63 MPa, flexural strength of 97 MPa, impact strength of 9.56 kJ/m2, hardness value of 97, and lower water absorption of 5.13%. This is due to the proper dispersion of graphene fillers in the matrix which caused better interfacial adhesion between the fiber and matrix. The water absorption test showed the lowest value in sample S5 as the graphene fillers obstruct water penetration in the fibers. SEM analysis is done on the prepared samples to study the surface flaws and structural changes.

Journal or Conference Name
Journal of Nanomaterials
Publication Year