Influence of 6 MeV Electron Beam Irradiation on the Structural and Thermal Properties of Fibers of Luffa cylindrica
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Electron beam irradiation on natural fiber has an objective of delineating the highly crystalline cellulose structure of the fiber to increase their reactivity during fabrication of composite materials. In this study, high-energy electron beam of 6 MeV generated from medical linear accelerator is irradiated on fibers of luffa cylindrica (LC). The LC fibers are agricultural waste of the local regions and are plush in cellulose (60%). The X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern of irradiated LC fiber revealed destruction of the glycosidic linkage and crystallinity of the fiber resulting in 38% crystallinity index. Fourier transform of infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) study indicates formation of carboxylic groups and free radicals in the backbone of cellulose chain. Hydrophilicity which is a major drawback of natural fibers is eliminated as indicated in thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) curve thus can enhance the fiber–matrix adhesion. Therefore, the findings of XRD, TGA and FTIR are promising and make the irradiated LC fiber suitable to be used as reinforcement in composite material.
KeywordsCellulose Electron beam Medical LINAC Degradation
The authors are grateful to Laboratory of Advanced Research in Polymeric Materials (LARPM) Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology, Government of India, for X-ray diffraction pattern and thermogravimetric analysis of the fiber and central laboratory, Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology for Fourier transform of infrared spectroscopy.
The funding was provided by University Grants Commission (Grant No. FPS021/2015-16).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The use of medical LNAC of energy 6 MeV in modifying the surface of fiber is the most significant achievement. The high crystalline LC fiber was reduced to a mere 38% crystallinity index. The decrease of hydrophilicity is observed from only 7% loss of mass up to 200 °C is worth mentioned.