Natural Fiber-Reinforced Hybrid Polymer Nanocomposites: Effect of Fiber Mixing and Nanoclay on Physical, Mechanical, and Biodegradable Properties

Md. Saiful Islam, Mansor B. Ahmad, Mahbub Hasan, Sidek Abdul Aziz, Mohammad Jawaid, M. K. Mohamad Haafiz, Siti A. H. Zakaria

Abstract


Combining two kinds of fibers is a potential way to improve the essential properties of natural fiber-reinforced hybrid polymer composites. Biocomposites produced from natural resources are experiencing an increase in interest due to their high demand in the market for manufacturing, in addition to environmental and sustainability issues. In this study, natural fiber-reinforced hybrid polymer nanocomposites were prepared from coir fiber, wood fiber, polypropylene, and montmorillonite nanoclay using a hot press technique. The effects of fiber mixing and montmorillonite on their physico-mechanical and biodegradable properties were subsequently investigated. Before being used, both the wood and the coir fibers were alkali-treated to reduce their hydrophilicity. The mechanical properties of the fabricated composites were measured using a universal tensile testing machine and found to be enhanced after fiber mixing and nanoclay incorporation. Fourier transform infrared spectra indicated that the characteristic peaks of the composites shifted after fiber mixing. A new peak around 470 cm-1 was observed in the case of the nanocomposites, which confirmed the interaction between the fiber, polymer, and montmorillonite (MMT). Scanning electron microscopic analysis revealed that MMT strongly improved the adhesion and compatibility between the fiber and polymer matrix. The combining of fibers improved the biodegradability and water absorption properties, while MMT addition had the reverse effect on the same properties of the composites.

Keywords


Fiber mixing; Hybrid nanocomposites; Mechanical strength; FTIR; SEM; Biodegradability

Full Text: PDF

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, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucian.lucia@gmail.com URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126