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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2015, Article ID 860617, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/860617
Research Article

Mechanical Properties and Biodegradability of the Kenaf/Soy Protein Isolate-PVA Biocomposites

Department of Advanced Organic Materials & Textile System Engineering, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 305-764, Republic of Korea

Received 29 January 2015; Revised 29 April 2015; Accepted 30 April 2015

Academic Editor: Mahbub Hasan

Copyright © 2015 Jong Sung Won et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The effective utilization of original natural fibers as indispensable components in natural resins for developing novel, low-cost, eco-friendly biocomposites is one of the most rapidly emerging fields of research in fiber-reinforced composite. The objective of this study is to investigate the interfacial adhesion properties, water absorption, biodegradation properties, and mechanical properties of the kenaf/soy protein isolate- (SPI-) PVA composite. Experimental results showed that 20 wt% poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and 8 wt% glutaraldehyde (GA) created optimum conditions for the consolidation of the composite. The increase of interfacial shear strength enhanced the composites flexural and tensile strength of the kenaf/SPI-PVA composite. The kenaf/SPI-PVA mechanical properties of the composite also increased with the content of cross-linking agent. Results of the biodegradation test indicated that the degradation time of the composite could be controlled by the cross-linking agent. The degradation rate of the kenaf/SPI-PVA composite with the cross-linking agent was lower than that of the composite without the cross-linking agent.