This paper describes for the first time the difference in species reactions to the treatment type of date palm fiber. Male and female date palm leaves from two different cultivars--Sheshi female and unknown male--have been considered. Characterization was done for both untreated and NaOH-treated date palm leaves by infrared spectroscopy, thermo gravimetric analysis and scanning electron microscopic techniques. 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 their alkalinity. The male leaves have lower tensile properties than female leaves, and their mechanical properties are improved slightly through NaOH treatment. Female leaves have more pores than male leaves. This was proven and calculated by image analysis. Untreated female leaves have higher thermal stability (353°C) than male leaves (343°C). Both can be used as cheap and environmental reinforcements in thermoplastic matrix materials whose processing temperatures are below 300°C.


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