, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 25-33
Date: 04 Jan 2007

Chemical Treatments of Natural Fiber for Use in Natural Fiber-Reinforced Composites: A Review

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Studies on the use of natural fibers as replacement to man-made fiber in fiber-reinforced composites have increased and opened up further industrial possibilities. Natural fibers have the advantages of low density, low cost, and biodegradability. However, the main disadvantages of natural fibers in composites are the poor compatibility between fiber and matrix and the relative high moisture sorption. Therefore, chemical treatments are considered in modifying the fiber surface properties.

In this paper, the different chemical modifications on natural fibers for use in natural fiber-reinforced composites are reviewed. Chemical treatments including alkali, silane, acetylation, benzoylation, acrylation, maleated coupling agents, isocyanates, permanganate and others are discussed. The chemical treatment of fiber aimed at improving the adhesion between the fiber surface and the polymer matrix may not only modify the fiber surface but also increase fiber strength. Water absorption of composites is reduced and their mechanical properties are improved.