keywords: Coir, composites, impact strength, porosity, silane treatment, water absorption
In the face of existing research findings on natural fibre reinforced composites, there exists knowledge-gap in the influence of porosity and water absorption on impact performance of coir reinforced composite products. In this study, coir fibres were treated and utilized in reinforcing polyester matrix by hand lay-up technique, and subsequently characterized by impact testing, porosity and water absorption analysis. The results showed that impact strength of treated-coir composites decreased from 603.89 J/m at 10 wt. % to 209.12 J/m/m at 70 wt. %. Conversely, the porosity values of treated-coir composites increased from 2.93% at 10 wt. % to 6.66% at 70 wt. %, whilst the water absorption values of treated-coir composites increased from 3.12% at 10 wt. % to 5.66% at 70 wt. %. The results of raw-coir composites showed least improved property characteristics. Accordingly, inference is made that the combined effect of alkali and silane treatments was evident on the improved impact behavior of treated-coir composites. This work will espouse the knowledge-gap in the utilization potentials for the sustainable production of low-to-medium impact applications of coir composites, with emphasis on the enhancement of porosity and water absorption effects.