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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 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
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Properties of kenaf fiber/polylactic acid biocomposites plasticized with polyethylene glycol'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this