Influence of surface treatment on the wetting process of jute fibres with thermosetting polyester resin
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The aim of this study is the evaluation of the effect of chemical treatment of jute fibres on their permeability with polyester resin and determination of optimal treatment parameters. Unmodified jute fabric by LENTEX, Poland and polyester resin ESTROMAL 14 were used in the experiments. NaOH and KOH water solutions (various concentration - from 1 to 15% - and treatment duration - from 0.5 to 6h), vinyl acetate, methanol, toluene diizocyanate were used for the treatment. Determination of the effect of the chemical treatment on fiber-resin interaction was made in: infiltration of resin into reinforcement structure tests and fabric absorbability tests. Three criteria: time of penetration of resin into the reinforcing fabric, fabric absorbability and the area of a part of the specimen cross-section penetrated with the resin were taken into account. The fabrics treated with 1-5% - long-time and 15% short-time NaOH and KOH water solutions showed the best results within the tested criteria. These results do not correspondent directly with the mechanical properties of cured composites manufactured on the base of the treated fabrics. Alkali- and organic treatments significantly improve the mechanical performance of natural fibres reinforced composites, but organic treatments (methanol, toluene diisocyanate) gives better improvement in mechanical properties in comparison with the alkali-treatments. The measurement methods applied in the study may be generally useful in the evaluation of the effect of chemical treatment of natural fibres on their wettability with the liquid matrix.
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