Surface Modification of Natural Fibers for Reinforced Polymer Composites: A Critical Review
Recent advances in engineering, natural fibers development and composites science offer significant opportunities for new, improved materials which can be biodegradable and recyclable and can also be obtained from sustainable resources at the same time. The combination of bio-fibers like betel nut, banana, coir, jute, rice straw, tea dust and various grasses with polymer matrices from both non-renewable (petroleum based) and renewable resources to produce composite materials that are competitive with synthetic composites such as glass fiber reinforced polypropylene or epoxide has been getting increased attention over the last decades. This article provides a general overview of natural fibers and bio-composites as well as the research on and application of these materials. A special emphasis is placed on surface modification of natural fibers to attain desired composite properties. The roles of compatibilizers and radiation on the natural fiber-polymer composites are also included. A discussion about chemical nature, processing, testing and properties of natural fiber reinforced polymer composites completes this article.
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