2004 Volume 47 Issue 4 Pages 541-546
Alkali treatment was performed on ‘Curaua' fibers to improve their mechanical properties. Curaua fibers were dipped into 5%, 10%, and 15% concentrated sodium hydroxide solutions for 1h and 2h. The effects of solution concentrations and treatment times on the physical and mechanical properties of curaua fibers were evaluated. Tensile tests of untreated and alkali treated curaua fibers were carried out. Those results showed that the tensile strength of the treated fibers decreased in comparison to untreated fibers, whereas the fracture strain of the treated fibers increased greatly in comparison with that of untreated fibers. In addition, green composites reinforced by untreated and alkali-treated curaua fibers were fabricated by a press forming method. Tensile tests were carried out for both composites. Results showed that both tensile strength and fracture strain of the composite using treated fibers increased in comparison with the composite using untreated fibers.