Kudzu fiber-reinforced polypropylene composites were prepared, and their mechanical and thermal properties were determined. To enhance the adhesion between the kudzu fiber and the polypropylene matrix, maleic anhydride-grafted polypropylene (MAPP) was used as a compatibilizer. A continuous improvement in both tensile modulus and tensile strength was observed up to a MAPP concentration of 35 wt %. Increases of 24 and 54% were obtained for tensile modulus and tensile strength, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed improved dispersion and adhesion with MAPP. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy showed an increase in hydrogen bonding with an increase in MAPP content. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis indicated little change in the melting temperature of the composites with changes in MAPP content. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 85: 1961–1969, 2002
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