Advantages And Disadvantages Of Natural Fibres

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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 [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
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In addition to surface modification, another technique adopted to enhance the mechanical strength of a natural fiber composite is the use combined natural and synthetic fiber (like glass) as reinforcement in the same matrix material. This results in a hybrid composite.
The physical and mechanical properties of the composites are determined by the fiber/matrix interface. By chemical treatments such as dewaxing, mercerization, bleaching, cyanoethylation, silane treatment, benzoylation, peroxide treatment, isocyanate treatment, acrylation, acetylation, latex coating, steam-explosion, etc. the interfacial properties can be improved [34,
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