Natural-fiber polymer-matrix composites: Cheaper, tougher, and environmentally friendly
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- Monteiro, S.N., Lopes, F.P.D., Ferreira, A.S. et al. JOM (2009) 61: 17. doi:10.1007/s11837-009-0004-z
Natural fibers, especially lignocellulosic fibers extracted from plants, are gaining attention as polymer-matrix composite (PMC) reinforcements due to their comparative advantages over synthetic fibers. Natural fibers are relatively low cost, renewable, and biodegradable. Their production systems are associated with low equipment wear and are energy efficient. In addition, the incorporation of lignocellulosic fibers into PMCs may significantly improve some mechanical properties. This article presents an overview of the advantages and drawbacks of applying natural fibers, some of them relatively unknown, as reinforcements of PMCs. The mechanical behavior of composites incorporated with selected fibers is discussed in terms of the effect of surface micromorphology and the fiber/matrix interaction.