Composite Materials Using Mallow Fibers and Epoxy Resin




This work investigates chemically modified Mallow fibers (MF) and their utilization as reinforcement
in an epoxy composite. The untreated Mallow fibers (UTMF) and the Mallow fibers treated (TMF) with
5% NaOH solution were characterized, and Mallow/epoxy resin composites (MEC) were fabricated
using 10, 20, and 30 wt.% of TMF, and their mechanical, and thermal properties were studied. UTMF,
TMF, and MEC were evaluated using Fourier-transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Differential
Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)-Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and
scanning electron microscopy (SEM). A tensile test was performed to characterize the MEC. The alkali
treatment increased cellulose by 7% and lignin by 56%, removed hemicellulose and ash content up to
28.8% and 31.4% respectively, and reduced moisture by 3.5%. The spectra of the FTIR and DSC-TGA
analyses show the broad absorption and decomposition characteristics of cellulose, hemicellulose, and
lignin in the fibers. The UTMF presented a crystallinity index (CI) value of 57% while the TMF had
a CI value of 77.60%. From the results, it is observed that the maximum tensile strength value was
obtained at 20 wt.% of fiber loading, giving 100.22 MPa, which is considered ideal for the fabrication
of Mallow/epoxy resin composites.