Effect of Alkali Treatment on Mechanical and Morphological Properties of Pineapple Leaf Fibre/Polyester Composites

K. Senthilkumar, N. Rajini, N. Saba, M. Chandrasekar, M. Jawaid, Suchart Siengchin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, our aim is to analyze the influence of fibre treatments and different fibre loading on mechanical, physical and chemical properties of pineapple leaf fibre reinforced polyester composites (PALF/PE). Fibre treatments were carried out with 1 N NaOH and KOH for 1 h. The untreated and treated PALF/PE composites were fabricated with 25 wt%, 35 wt% and 45 wt% fibre loadings by compression molding technique. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to understand the effects of chemical treatment on PALF mechanical test results revealed that 45 wt% of PALF/PE composites treated with NaOH showed a 35% increase in tensile strength compared to untreated PALF/PE composites. The tensile modulus and the flexural module are also the highest at 45 wt% of KOH treated composites. The highest impact strength of 70 J/m was obtained for PALF/PE composites with NaOH treated fibres at 25% fibre loading. The results show that the fibre treatments in terms of the flexural and inter-laminar shear strength of composites were not effective. SEM of the tensile fractured specimen of PALF/PE composites revealed the changes in fibre characteristics due to the alkali treatment and less fibre pull-out at higher fibre loading. Overall we conclude that 1 N NaOH, 45 wt% treated PALF/PE composites satisfactorily and effectively improved both the mechanical and morphological properties. Obtained composites would be promising for construction materials, furniture and automotive components due to their superior strength and modulus at higher fibre loading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1191-1201
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Polymers and the Environment
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Alkali treatment
  • Inter-laminar shear strength
  • Mechanical properties
  • Morphological properties
  • Pineapple leaf fibre
  • Polyester composites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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