Properties of Corn Husk Fibre Reinforced Epoxy Composites Fabricated Using Vacuum-assisted Resin Infusion


Corn husk is a non-fruit part of the corn and an agricultural waste. This research focuses on fabricating composite material from the corn husk fibre by using a vacuum assisted resin infusion (VARI) technique. The corn husk fibre was extracted using water retting method and treated with alkali and bleaching treatments using sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Then, those fibres were made into nonwoven fibre mat using water laid method. The fibre mat was infused with epoxy resin to make a composite. The mechanical result has shown that the composite with 20% of fibre has higher tensile strength and modulus compared to neat epoxy. Both treatments have removed the non-cellulose content, such as hemicellulose and lignin. Moreover, the treatments also promoted better interfacial adhesion between fibre and matrix. Thus, the NaOH treated and H2O2 treated composites showed approximately 56% and 82%, respectively, higher tensile strength than untreated composite. Both treated composites were also stiffer and exhibited lower water absorption compared to untreated composite. The composite made from fibre that treated with H2O2 have shown the highest tensile strength and modulus approximately to 28 MPa and 2605 MPa.