Chemical Modification Effect on the Mechanical Properties of Coir Fiber
Natural fiber has a vital role as a reinforcing agent due to its renewable, low cost, biodegradable, less abrasive and eco-friendly nature. Whereas synthetic fibers like glass, boron, carbon, metallic, ceramic and inorganic fibers are expensive and not eco-friendly. Coir is one of the natural fibers easily available in Bangladesh and cheap. It is derived from the husk of the coconut (Cocos nucifera). Coir has one of the highest concentrations of lignin, which makes it stronger. In recent years, wide range of research has been carried out on fiber reinforced polymer composites [4-13].The aim of the present research is to characterize brown single coir fiber for manufacturing polymer composites reinforced with characterized fibers. Adhesion between the fiber and polymer is one of factors affecting the strength of manufactured composites. In order to increase the adhesion, the coir fiber was chemically treated separately in single stage (with Cr2(SO4)3•12(H2O)) and double stages (with CrSO4 and NaHCO3). Both the raw and treated fibers were characterized by tensile testing, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic analysis, scanning electron microscopic analysis. The result showed that the Young's modulus increased, while tensile strength and strain to failure decreased with increase in span length. Tensile properties of chemically treated coir fiber was found higher than raw coir fiber, while the double stage treated coir fiber had better mechanical properties compared to the single stage treated coir fiber. Scanning electron micrographs showed rougher surface in case of the raw coir fiber. The surface was found clean and smooth in case of the treated coir fiber. Thus the performance of coir fiber composites in industrial application can be improved by chemical treatment.