Accelerated Weathering Test of Kenaf Fiber Unsaturated Polyester Sheet Molding Compounds


  • Kaiwen Liang
  • Sheldon Q. Shi
  • Darrel D. Nicholas
  • Linda Sites


Sheet molding compounds (SMC), kenaf fiber, accelerated weathering test


Natural fiber is an excellent renewable resource for making composite materials that are more lightweight than those made with fiberglass. However, the major issue for composites made with natural fibers as reinforcement is their hydrophilic nature. In this study, laminated composites were prepared using nanoparticle-impregnated kenaf fibers and a modified polyester resin containing multiwalled carbon nanotubes. These were compared with composites made from retted fibers, fiberglass, and unmodified polyester resin. After being subjected to accelerated weathering in a weatherometer, modified composites exhibited significantly less water sorption and minimal decrease in flexural modulus compared with unmodified composites.


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Research Contributions