Investigation of Physico-Mechanical and Moisture Absorption Characteristics of Raw and Alkali Treated New Agave Angustifolia Marginata (AAM) Fiber
Keywords:natural fibers, alkali treatment, physico-mechanical properties, moisture absorption, SEM
The main objective of this paper is to introduce the new natural fiber for use as reinforcement in polymer matrix composites due to their significant properties like lesser weight, biodegradability, load carrying structures, non-toxic and cost effective. The Agave Angustifolia Marginota (AAM) fiber possesses rich cellulose content which is the cheapest and available sufficiently. An effort has been taken in the extraction of AAM leaf fibers followed by an investigation of its physical, mechanical and moisture absorption properties. The outcome of the fiber before and after alkali treatment was analyzed in terms of diameter, length, aspect ratio and density. The AAM fibers were treated with 2%, 5%, 10% and 15% NaOH solution and subjected to different holding time as 1, 2, 4, 6 & 8 hrs in each combination and the effect of alkali treatments were explored. Analysis of the tensile strength, aspect ratio, weight loss and water absorption of the fibers are also carried out. It is exciting to note that the 5 % NaOH treatment with 1 hour holding time ascertain substantial improvement in tensile properties of the fibers than the others. A Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) is used to analyze the morphology study of the varying alkali concentration of the fibers with different immersing time.
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