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Flexural Properties of Vetiver Fiber Reinforced Polyethylene Composite are Affected by Processing Parameters

Ruhul A. Khan, Haydar U. Zaman


Fiber reinforced polymer composites have long been influential in a variety of applications due to their great particular strength and modulus. Vetiver fiber (VF)/thermoplastic composites are an alternative material for solving the environmental pollution problem related to synthetic polymers. The benefits of natural fibers (such as coir, jute, vetiver, calotropis gigantea, flax, hemp, kenaf, etc.) over traditional reinforcing fibers (glass and carbon fiber) are their easy obtainability, renewability, non-corrosive nature, light density, biodegradability, high specific energy (strength of density ratio) and low cost. VF length control has been proposed as a low cost and environmentally friendly alternative to expensive chemical treatment of VF in polymer composites. In the present study, VF reinforced low-density polythene (LDPE) composites were modified using film process stacking method using hot press compression molding technique through various process parameters, such as VF condition (untreated and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) treatment), VF sizes (short VF  2 cm, and long VF  2 cm) and VF percent (10, 20, 30, and 40 wt%). The effects of VF size, VF content and SDS treatment on the LDPE composite were examined on the flexural modulus and modulus efficiency factor. The results confirmed that VF content up to 20 wt%, processing temperature up to 155ºC and SDS treatment during processing up to 5 hours enhanced a certain amount of flexural modulus and modulus efficiency factor due to an increase in load bearing and interfacial adherence. It is clear that long VF load transfers have played a positive role; improving flexural modulus and its efficiency factor due to efficient load transfer. Due to the VFs' brittle behavior, flexibility was reduced

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