This paper describes the cultivation of kenaf and application to biodegradable composite materials. The unidirectional biodegradable composite materials were made from kenaf fibers and an emulsion-type PLA resin. Thermal analysis of kenaf fibers revealed that tensile strength of kenaf fibers decreased when kept at 180 °C for 60 min. Therefore, biodegradable composites were fabricated at a molding temperature of 160 °C. The unidirectional fiber-reinforced composites showed tensile and flexural strengths of 223 MPa and 254 MPa, respectively. Moreover, tensile and flexural strength and elastic moduli of the kenaf fiber-reinforced composites increased linearly up to a fiber content of 50%. The biodegradability of kenaf/PLA composites was examined for four weeks using a garbage-processing machine. Experimental results showed that the weight of composites decreased 38% after four weeks of composting. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ochi, S. (2008). Mechanical properties of kenaf fibers and kenaf/PLA composites. Mechanics of Materials, 40(4–5), 446–452. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mechmat.2007.10.006