Natural Fibers Advantages And Disadvantages

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Natural fibers represent environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional reinforcing fibers (glass, carbon, kevlar). Advantages of natural fibers over traditional ones are low cost, high toughness, low density, good specific strength properties, reduced tool wear (nonabrasive to processing equipment), enhanced energy recovery, CO2 neutral when burned, biodegradability. Because of their hollow and cellular nature, natural fibers perform as acoustic and thermal insulators and exhibit reduced bulk density [29,30]. Some of the disadvantages and limitations of natural fibers, when used as reinforcement for composites, are related to the lack of proper interfacial adhesion, poor resistance to moisture absorption, limited processing temperature…show more content…
As the natural fibers result from the chemistry of cell wall components, modification of the chemistry of cell wall polymers can change the basic properties of a fiber. The chemicals to be used for chemical modification must be capable of reacting with lignocellulosic hydroxyls under neutral, mild alkaline, or acidic conditions at temperatures below 150°C. The chemical system should be simple and capable of swelling the structure to facilitate penetration. The complete molecule should react quickly with the lignocelluloses components yielding stable chemical bonds, and the treated lignocelluloses must still possess the desirable properties of untreated lignocellulosic. Therefore, the fiber strength should not be reduced, no change in color, good electrical insulation properties should be retained, and the hydrophobic nature of reagent should be selected accordingly. Concerning the other major drawback, moisture absorption, natural fibers are hygroscopic in nature, and they absorb or release moisture depending on environmental conditions. Major limitations of using natural fibers in durable composite applications are their high moisture absorption and poor dimensional stability (swelling). Fiber swelling can lead to microcracking of the composites and degradation of their mechanical…show more content…
Oil palm empty fruit bunch fibers were treated by synthesized copper nanoparticles [45]. Compared to the untreated short fiber reinforced polyester composite sample, the tensile strength of the copper nanoparticle-treated fiber reinforced composite sample was enhanced by ~36% [45]. Recently, the use of graphene nanoplatelets (GNP) as nanofiller is being studied. The main advantage is their low cost regarding that of carbon nanotubes. This is due to a lower manufacturing cost. Their stiffness, two-dimensional geometry and low thermal interface resistance make graphene a successful filler to manufacture composite materials with improved thermal conductivity [46-48]. In addition, their planar geometry should induce a substantial improvement of the barrier properties and hydrothermal resistance of the composites. In the past few years, graphene sheets have been incorporated into a wide range of polymer matrix, including epoxy [49], polystyrene [50], polypropylene [51], polyethylene terephthalate [52], polyaniline [53], nylon [54] and polymethylmethacrylate [55] for various functional

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