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With regard to the effect of the fibre weight bundle in the strength of the single fibre and the pull-out characteristics, both treated and untreated fibres did not show a remarkable influence of bundle weight on the strength of the single fibre or the pull-out results.
The failure mechanisms of the samples seem to be controlled by the treatment of the fibres. Figure 4 shows the possible failure in the case of treated and untreated fibres.
The scanning electron microscopy was used to observe the structural changes resulting from the aging effect on the samples focusing on the fibres. Figures 5 and 6 show the SEM micrographs of the untreated and treated kenaf fibre samples in different aging solution, respectively.
Firstly, Figure 6(a) in comparison to Figure 4 shows that the treatment of the kenaf fibres significantly improved their surface since the undesired substances were completely removed and the inner fibres exposed.
After conducting the pull-out tests on the treated and untreated kenaf fibres reinforced epoxy and analyzing the results, the main findings can be concluded as follows:
(i) Treating the fibres with 6% NaOH significantly improved the interfacial adhesion of the fibres with the matrix.
Over the years, various techniques have been developed to determine the surface energies and wettability of fibres. These include sessile drop, capillary rise in a power bed or fibre assemblies, air-pressure techniques, Wilhelmy plate, sedimentation volume film rotation, inverse gas chromatography, and vapour probe techniques [12].
This method has obvious limitations for use with natural fibres because of their rough, heterogeneous, nonuniform, and absorbent surfaces.
The pull-out method has been found to be the best from the point of view of understanding how the interface affects composite properties and this method has been used in determining the interfacial shear strength of hemp fibres in polyester resin in this study.
Nonwoven randomly oriented short hemp fibre mat, provided by JB Plant Fibres Ltd., UK, was used.
For determining the surface properties (surface energy and dynamic contact angle) of hemp fibres, a KSV Sigma 700 Tensiometer was used.
Thermal characterisation of hemp fibres was carried out by using a PerkinElmer Simultaneous Thermal Analyser 6000.