Advantages And Disadvantages Of Natural Fibers

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Natural fibers represent environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional reinforcing fibers (glass, carbon, kevlar). Because of their hollow and cellular nature, natural fibers perform as acoustic and thermal insulators and exhibit reduced bulk density [33, 34]. 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 to about 200°C, and low dimensional stability (shrinkage, swelling). Researches are being done to improve these properties and are implemented continuously [35, 36]. The fiber surface heterogeneities such as surface defects, impurities, surface flaws, etc. affect the mechanical properties of the composites remarkably. Modification of fiber surface is generally used in order to reduce the surface defects, improve the adhesion between the fiber and the matrix, and hence the mechanical properties of the composites [37].
The disadvantages of natural fibers can be handled by modifications of the fiber but may make composites expensive. Apart from the use of these fiber composites in outdoor applications, these can be used
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[54-58]. Addition of nanofillers is an efficient method to improve the mechanical properties and the interfacial adhesion as the presence of fiber and the nanoparticle generate a multi-scale, multifunctional reinforcement in the composite system [59]. Multi-scale reinforcement system containing fiber together with nano-scale particles in the matrix or on the fiber surface is found to increase the delamination resistance of the polymer composite
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