EFFECTS OF DIFFERENT PRE-TREATMENTS ON THE PERFORMANCE OF KENAF FIBER REINFORCED ALUMINUM LAMINATES SANDWICH COMPOSITE
Fiber metal laminate (FML) offers some superior mechanical properties as compared to either conventional polymer composites or high strength monolithic aluminum. Treatment of individual elements of composites is one of the effective methods to improve the performance of composites. This study focuses on the effects of different pre-treatments of fiber and metal sheet to the performance of metal laminate composite containing kenaf reinforced epoxy as the core composite. The kenaf fibers and aluminum sheet underwent different types of treatment to improve the interfacial adhesion. The results showed that the composites with surface roughened aluminum sheets gave higher values of flexural strength than those with alodine treated aluminum sheets. However, composites with alodine treated aluminum showed the highest impact strength, contributed by interfacial delamination as a result of less firm adhesion between Al sheet and composite core. The fiber metal laminate sandwich composites also showed improvement in water resistance as compared to the kenaf fiber reinforced composite, particularly those with alkaline treated fibers. In conclusion, surface treatments on the Al sheets and kenaf fibers were effective to improve the mechanical and water absorption properties of kenaf fiber reinforced aluminum laminates (KeRALL).
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