Development and Analysis of Carded Kenaf – Cotton/Polyester Hybrid Mat
Kenaf fiber have a positive potential to replace the conventional synthetic fibers and can be used in the construction, automotive and packaging industries in pursuing the green technology. This research aims to produce kenaf mat from carding process as well as to analyze the fiber optimum diameter, effective length and tensile strength. Kenaf mat produced in term of weight per meter square, waste percentage and uniforminty were also investigated. The raw kenaf fiber was treated by two different methods which are 6% NaOH and 3% commercial softener to improve the fiber properties. The treated and untreated fibers were then tested to identify its characteristics. The comparative test was done by using Olympus Stereo Zomm Microscope and Universal Tensile Machine. The optimum kenaf fibers were than carded into the mat with different composition of kenaf; 30% and 50% blended with cotton and 50%, 70% and 90% of kenaf blended with polyester respectively. The carded mat was analyzed by using Stereo Zoom Microscope. It was found that after the chemical treatment. Young’s modulus was improved, but the single fiber tensile strength was decreased. It is also found that during the development of kenaf mat, higher composition of kenaf produced higher strength of kenaf mat due to the characteristics of kenaf fiber that is brittle, coarser and lack of interlocking elements.