Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 863–878 | Cite as

Characterization of Physical, Mechanical and Chemical Properties of Quiscal Fibres: The Influence of Atmospheric DBD Plasma Treatment

  • Catia Relvas
  • Gastón Castro
  • Sohel Rana
  • Raul Fangueiro
Original Paper


This paper reports the first attempt of characterizing various physical, mechanical and chemical properties of Quiscal fibres, used by the native communities in Chile and investigating the influence of atmospheric dielectric barrier discharge plasma treatment on various properties such as diameter and linear density, fat, wax and impurity%, moisture regain, chemical elements and groups, thermal degradation, surface morphology, etc. According to the experimental observations, Quiscal fibre has lower tenacity than most of the technical grade natural fibres such as sisal, hemp, flax, etc., and plasma treatment at optimum dose improved its tenacity to the level of sisal fibres. Plasma treatment also reduced the amount of fat, wax and other foreign impurities present in Quiscal fibres as well as removed lignin and hemicellulose partially from the fibre structure. Plasma treatment led to functionalization of Quiscal fibre surface with chemical groups, as revealed from attenuated total reflection spectroscopy and also confirmed from the elemental analysis using energy dispersive X-ray technique and pH and conductivity measurements of fibre aqueous extract. The wetting behavior of Quiscal fibre also improved considerably through plasma treatment. However, untreated and plasma treated Quiscal fibres showed similar thermal degradation behavior, except the final degradation stage, in which plasma treated fibres showed higher stability and incomplete degradation unlike the untreated fibres. The experimental results suggested that the plasma treated Quiscal fibres, like other technical grade natural fibres, can find potential application as reinforcement of composite materials for various industrial applications.


Quiscal fibre Mechanical properties Plasma treatment Thermal degradation Surface morphology 



This work is supported by Portuguese National Funding, through FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, on the framework of project UID/CTM/00264/2013.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catia Relvas
    • 1
  • Gastón Castro
    • 2
  • Sohel Rana
    • 1
  • Raul Fangueiro
    • 1
  1. 1.Fibrous Materials Research Group, School of EngineeringUniversity of MinhoGuimaraesPortugal
  2. 2.Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urban StudiesPontifical Catholic University of ChileSantiagoChile

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