Kenaf fibers reinforced unsaturated polyester composites: A review

Reza Arjmandi*, Ilknur Yıldırım, Fiona Hatton, Azman Hassan, Christopher Jefferies, Zurina Mohamad, Norhayani Othman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Recently development of high-performance polymer composites made from natural resources in the various sectors is increasing tremendously due to the environmental issues and health hazard possessed by the synthetic fibers during disposal and manufacturing. Among the many different types of natural resources, kenaf fibers have been extensively investigated as an alternative reinforcement for polymer composites over the past few years due to their low cost, good mechanical properties, high specific strength, nonabrasive, eco-friendly, and biodegradability characteristics. Kenaf is regarded as an industrial crop in Malaysia and grown commercially in other parts of the world for different applications. It is certainly one of the important plants cultivated for natural fibers globally which has great potential to use as automotive and construction materials. In many research studies, kenaf fibers have been used as reinforcement in unsaturated polyester (UPE) which perfectly improved the features of the polyester resin. The tensile properties of kenaf fiber reinforced UPE are mainly influenced by the interfacial adhesion between the fibers and the polyester resin. Several chemical modifications are employed to improve the interfacial bonding between kenaf fibers and polyester, resulting in the enhancement of mechanical properties of the composites. Therefore, this paper explores and highlights of the previous studies around kenaf fiber reinforced UPE composites, in terms of processing methods, mechanical, water absorption, and morphological properties to provide a perfect source of literature for doing further research in this topic.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2021.
Creative Commons CC BY: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of
the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages

Funding: The authors wish to acknowledge the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) 7825 and 7844, sub-codes: 3F302 and 4F525, respectively, and Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) for financial support. In addition, the authors also wish to acknowledge the Research University Grant (RUG) 2544, sub-code: 10H94 for financial support.


  • Unsaturated polyester
  • kenaf fibers
  • composites
  • mechanical properties
  • water absorption


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