Composite materials with natural fillers have been increasingly used as an alternative to synthetically produced materials. This trend is visible from a representation of polymeric composites with natural cellulose fibers in the automotive industry of the European Union. This trend is entirely logical, owing to a preference for renewable resources. The experimental program itself follows pronounced hypotheses and focuses on a description of the mechanical properties of untreated and alkali-treated natural vegetable fibers, coconut and abaca fibers. These fibers have great potential for use in composite materials. The results and discussion sections contribute to an introduction of an individual methodology for mechanical property assessment of cellulose fibers, and allows for a clear definition of an optimal process of alkalization dependent on the content of hemicellulose and lignin in vegetable fibers. The aim of this research was to investigate the influence of alkali treatment on the surface microstructure and tensile properties of coir and abaca fibers. These fibers were immersed into a 5% solution of NaOH at laboratory temperature for a time interval of 30 min, 1 h, 2 h, 3 h, 6 h, 12 h, 24 h, and 48 h, rinsed and dried. The fiber surface microstructures before and after the alkali treatment were evaluated by SEM (scanning electron microscopy). SEM analysis showed that the alkali treatment in the NaOH solution led to a gradual connective material removal from the fiber surface. The effect of the alkali is evident from the visible changes on the surface of the fibers.

Influence of Alkali Treatment on the Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Coir and Abaca Fibers

Alessandro Ruggiero
2021-01-01

Abstract

Composite materials with natural fillers have been increasingly used as an alternative to synthetically produced materials. This trend is visible from a representation of polymeric composites with natural cellulose fibers in the automotive industry of the European Union. This trend is entirely logical, owing to a preference for renewable resources. The experimental program itself follows pronounced hypotheses and focuses on a description of the mechanical properties of untreated and alkali-treated natural vegetable fibers, coconut and abaca fibers. These fibers have great potential for use in composite materials. The results and discussion sections contribute to an introduction of an individual methodology for mechanical property assessment of cellulose fibers, and allows for a clear definition of an optimal process of alkalization dependent on the content of hemicellulose and lignin in vegetable fibers. The aim of this research was to investigate the influence of alkali treatment on the surface microstructure and tensile properties of coir and abaca fibers. These fibers were immersed into a 5% solution of NaOH at laboratory temperature for a time interval of 30 min, 1 h, 2 h, 3 h, 6 h, 12 h, 24 h, and 48 h, rinsed and dried. The fiber surface microstructures before and after the alkali treatment were evaluated by SEM (scanning electron microscopy). SEM analysis showed that the alkali treatment in the NaOH solution led to a gradual connective material removal from the fiber surface. The effect of the alkali is evident from the visible changes on the surface of the fibers.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4765683
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