ABSTRACT This study presents the composites prepared by melt blending based on high-density polyethylene, containing various amounts of kenaf fiber loadings and polyethylene-grafted maleic anhydride (PE-g-MA) in an internal mixer were prepared and investigated. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy was used to characterize both untreated and treated ke- naf fibers. A rheological study of the composites showed a high complex viscosity and dynamic shear storage modulus between untreated and treated composites and composites with compatibilizer. A mechanical test showed that the ten- sile strength and tensile modulus were optimal with 20% fiber loading but decreased with 30% fiber loading for both the untreated and treated composites. The composite with PE-g-MA showed an improved mechanical strength. This phenomenon is due to an increase in the interfacial adhesion between the fiber and matrix leading to an improvement in the compatibility of the blend. Treatment of the kenaf fiber improved in the mechanical and impact strengths in com- parison to the untreated kenaf composites. This behavior was supported by a morphology analysis of the fractured sur- faces revealed that strong interfaces were formed on addition of the compatibilizer.
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