In this work, kenaf fibers were pre-treated in a NaOH solution (6% in weight) at room temperature for two different periods (48 and 144 h). The chemical treatment of kenaf fibers for 48 h allowed to clean their surface removing each impurity whereas 144 h of immersion time had detrimental effect on the fibers surface and, consequently, on their mechanical properties. Untreated and NaOH treated kenaf fibers (i.e. for 48 h) were also used as reinforcing agent of epoxy resin composites. The effect of the stacking sequence (i.e. using unidirectional long fibers or randomly oriented short fibers) and the chemical treatment on the static mechanical properties was evaluated showing that the composites exhibit higher moduli in comparison to the neat resin. As regards the strength properties, only the composites reinforced with unidirectional layers show higher strength than the neat resin. Moreover, the alkali treatment increased the mechanical properties of the composites, due to the improvement of fiber-matrix compatibility. The dynamic mechanical analysis showed that the storage and the loss moduli are mainly influenced by the alkali treatment above the glass transition temperature. Moreover, the alkali treatment led to a notable reduction of tan δ peaks in addition to significant shifts of tan δ peaks to higher temperatures whereas the stacking sequence did not influence the trends of storage modulus, loss modulus and damping of the composites.
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