Coir fibers were modified with 1,6-hexanediol diacrylate (HDDA) using ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Concentration of HDDA, soaking time, and radiation dose were optimized and found to be 30% HDDA in methanol along with photoinitiator Irgacure-500 (2%) and 120 min of soaking time registered as the better performance (polymer loading (PL) 7%, tensile strength factor, Tf = 1.50). Urea of different concentrations (0.5–2%) were incorporated with 30% HDDA to monitor its effect on the properties and 1% urea produced the best results (PL = 25%, Tf = 1.82). For the improvement of the properties, the fibers were subjected to surface treatment with potassium permanganate (KMnO4) of different concentrations at various treating times. Enhanced properties (PL = 86%. Tf = 4.42) of the fibers treated with KMnO4 (0.05%) were obtained. The KMnO4 treated fibers were again treated with HDDA (30%) solution along with urea (1%) and found to produce the best results (PL = 100%, Tf = 4.5). Water uptake and degradable properties of the treated and virgin fibers were obtained. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 100: 4361–4368, 2006
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