Properties of kenaf fiber/polylactic acid biocomposites plasticized with polyethylene glycol

Razaina Mat Taib, Suganti Ramarad, Zainal Arifin Mohd Ishak, Mitsugu Todo

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    62 Citations (Scopus)


    Biocomposites of kenaf fiber (KF) and polylactic acid (PLA) were prepared by an internal mixer and compression molding. PLA was plasticized with polyethylene glycol (PEG) (10 wt%) and evaluated as the polymer matrix (p-PLA). Fiber loadings were varied between 0 and 40 wt%. The tensile, dynamic mechanical, and morphological properties and water absorption behavior of these composites were studied. Reinforcing effect of KF was observed when fiber loading exceeded 10 wt% despite of the inferior fiber-matrix adhesion observed via scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Un-plasticized PLA/KF composite exhibited higher tensile properties than its plasticized counterpart. Fiber breakage and heavily coated short pulled-out of fibers were observed from the SEM micrographs of the composite. The presence of PEG might have disturbed the fiber-matrix interaction between KF and PLA in the plasticized composites. Addition of PEG slightly improved the un-notched impact strength of the composites. Dynamic mechanical analysis showed that the storage and loss moduli of p-PLA/KF composites increased with the increase in fiber loading due to increasing restrictions to mobility of the polymer molecules. The tan delta of the composites in contrast showed an opposite trend. p-PLA and p-PLA/KF composites exhibited non-Fickian behavior of water absorption. SEM examination revealed microcracks on p-PLA and p-PLA/KF surfaces.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1213-1222
    Number of pages10
    JournalPolymer Composites
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Ceramics and Composites
    • General Chemistry
    • Polymers and Plastics
    • Materials Chemistry


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