Nanoscale Characterization of Reed Stalk Fiber Cell Walls

Xinzhou Wang, Yuhe Deng, Siqun Wang, Chengbin Liao, Yujie Meng, Tuonglam Pham


Reed (Phragmites australis) is a natural biological material that has great potential as reinforcing material in bio-composites. In order to evaluate the potential of reed stalk for reinforcement, the microstructure, elemental composition, microfibril angle (MFA), and mechanical properties of fiber cell walls were investigated by means of scanning probe microscopy (SPM), energy dispersive analysis of X-rays (EDAX), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and nanoindentation, respectively. The effects of elemental composition and microfibril angle of reed fibers on the mechanical properties were also considered. The results indicated that reed fiber cells have a multilayered structure. The observed increase in lignin content and decrease in MFA may contribute to the increase of mechanical properties. The elastic modulus and hardness of fibers in the upper part of the reed stalk were higher than those of the lower part. Based on nanoindentation results found in the literature, reed fibers have higher elastic modulus and hardness than poplar and spruce fibers.


Reed stalk; Fiber cell wall; Elemental composition; Microfibril angle; Mechanical properties; Nanoindentation

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126