Characterization of untreated and treated male and female date palm leaves
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This paper describes the characterization of male and female date palm leaves from two different cultivars, Sheshi female and unknown male leaves. Characterization was done for both untreated and NaOH treated date palm leaves by infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis and scanning electron microscopic techniques. To our knowledge, the difference in specious reaction to the treatment type of date palm fiber has not been investigated earlier. These leaves were treated with different concentrations of NaOH, 0.5%, 1%, 2% and 5% (w/w). The results from this investigation indicate that female leaves have better tensile properties which deteriorate with the increase of the alkali. The male leaves have lower tensile properties than female leaves and their mechanical properties are improved slightly by NaOH treatment. Female leaves have more pores than male leaves, this was proved and calculated by image analysis. Untreated female leaves have higher thermal stability (353°C) than male leaves (343°C). Both can be used as reinforcements in thermoplastic matrix materials whose processing temperatures are below 300°C.