Table of Contents
ISRN Materials Science
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 134683, 8 pages
Research Article

Effect of Chemical Treatment on Mechanical and Water-Sorption Properties Coconut Fiber-Unsaturated Polyester from Recycled PET

School of Chemical Science and Food Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43000 Bangi, Malaysia

Received 4 January 2012; Accepted 16 February 2012

Academic Editors: E. Collar, A. V. Dos Santos, and H. Yoshihara

Copyright © 2012 Nurul Munirah Abdullah and Ishak Ahmad. 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.


Coconut fibers were used as reinforcement for unsaturated polyester resin from recycled PET that has been prepared using glycolysis and polyesterification reaction. Various concentrations of alkali, silane, and silane on alkalized fiber were applied and the optimum concentration of treatments was determined. Morphological and mechanical properties of the composite have also been investigated to study the effect of fiber surface treatment. The influence of water uptake on the sorption characteristics of composites was studied via immersion in distilled water at room temperature. Surface treatment of coconut fiber caused a significant increase in the tensile properties with the optimum treatment of 0.5% silane on the 5% alkalized coconut fiber/polyester composites. For water absorption study, it was observed that the treated fiber composites showed lower water absorption properties in comparison to those of untreated fiber composites. SEM investigation showed that the surface modification of fiber has better fiber-matrix interaction. Thus, chemical treatments on the fiber improve fiber/matrix adhesion especially for silane on alkalized fiber treatment.