Jute fibres were subjected to a 5% alkali (NaOH) solution treatment for 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 h at 30°C. An improvement in the crystallinity in the jute fibres increased its modulus by 12%, 68% and 79% after 4, 6 and 8 h of treatment respectively. The tenacity of the fibres improved by 46% after 6 and 8 h treatment and the % breaking strain was reduced by 23% after 8 h treatment. For the 35% composites with 4 h treated fibres, the flexural strength improved from 199.1 MPa to 238.9 MPa by 20%, modulus improved from 11.89 GPa to 14.69 GPa by 23% and laminar shear strength increased from 0.238 MPa to 0.2834 MPa by 19%. On plotting the different values of slopes obtained from the rates of improvement of the flexural strength and modulus, against the NaOH treatment time, two different failure modes were apparent before and after 4 h of treatment. In the first region between 0 and 4 h, fibre pull out was predominant whereas in the second region between 6 and 8 h, transverse fracture occurred with a minimum fibre pull out. This observation was well supported by the SEM investigations of the fracture surfaces.
Volume 42 | Issue 3