Theses and Dissertations


Yan Shen

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Shumlsky, Rubin

Committee Member

Ingram, Leonard L., Jr.

Committee Member

Kitchens, Shane

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


The objective of this research was to investigate the hydrophilic and mechanical properties of kenaf fiber treated with vinyl tris(2-ethoxymethoxy) silane (VTEMS) and the resulting fiber/resin composite. The hypothesis was that silane-modified kenaf fibers, when used to make Sheet Molding Compounds (SMCs), would improve the water resistance and mechanical properties compared to unmodified kenaf fibers, and these potentially improved SMCs may be a useful material for the automotive and other industries. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was used to analyze the modified fibers and the resulting SMCs, and some silica-lignocellulosic bonding was observed. The water absorption of composites decreased as the loading of the silane reagent increased. The MOR and MOE mechanical properties of the SMCs also initially improved as the silane reagent levels increased from 0 (untreated) to 10% silane, but at levels above 10% VTEMS no further enhancement in the mechanical properties was obtained.