keywords: Fibre treatment; Acetylation; Mercerization, Fibre Composite
Fibre composite manufacturers are in constant search for cost effective route of production. One potential way to achieve this is by employing a good fibre modification process that requires fewer chemicals. Thus, in this research an independent sample t-test was used to compare the properties of Acetylated fibre composites and fibre composites that were mercerized before acetylation, known as mercerized-acetylated fibre composites, in order to aid composite manufacturers in fibre-treatment decision making. Polyester based bamboo fibre composites were produced using acetylated and mercerized-acetylated fibres respectively. The produced composites were subjected to various physical and mechanical test. The results indicated that subjecting the fibres to mercerization before acetylation has no significant effect on hardness values, tensile strength and percentage elongation of the resulting composites. However, at 30 wt% and 40 wt% fibre contents, mercerized-acetylated fibre composites showed significantly higher Compressive strength, flexural strength, flexural modulus, and higher impact strength. Percentage moisture absorption of mercerized-acetylated composites was significantly lower than that of acetylated fibre composites at all levels of fibre content. This research will serve as a decision guide to composite manufacturers on the surface modification route to follow based on the economy, desired properties and applications of their product.