Surface Treatments of Natural Fibres—A Review: Part 1

DOI: 10.4236/ojpchem.2015.53005   PDF   HTML   XML   5,699 Downloads   7,640 Views   Citations


This review is based on the surface treatment of natural fibres which can be used in technical applications. Natural fibres on their own have some draw backs regarding moisture uptake, quality variations, low thermal stability, and poor wettability. Insufficient adhesion between polymer matrix and fibre leads in time to debonding. Overcoming the weaknesses of these natural fibres gave the motivation for this study where physical and chemical methods of modification were considered. Physical methods such as electric discharge and mercerization were reported as well as the chemical methods such as graft copolymerization and treatment with isocyanates, and the results due to these modifications were discussed. This study reveals that natural fibres are good candidates for reinforcement but they have to be suitably treated to improve their properties if they are to be used in technical applications. The various fibre surface treatments actually improve the interfacial adhesion between the fibre surface and the matrix, thereby giving good mechanical properties to the resulted polymer composites.

Share and Cite:

Adekunle, K. (2015) Surface Treatments of Natural Fibres—A Review: Part 1. Open Journal of Polymer Chemistry, 5, 41-46. doi: 10.4236/ojpchem.2015.53005.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Oksman, K., Skrifvars, M. and Selin, J.F. (2003) Natural Fibres as Reinforcement in Polylactic Acid (PLA) Composites. Composites Science & Technology, 63, 1317-1324.
[2] Shirikant, N., Lascala, J.J., Can, E., Morye, S.S., Williams, G.I., Palmese, G.R., et al. (2001) Development and Application of Triglyceride-Based Polymers and Composites. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 82, 703-723.
[3] Bledzki, A.K., Reihmane, S. and Gassan, J. (1998) Properties and Modification Methods for Vegetable Fibres for Natural Fibre Composites. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 59, 1329-1336.<1329::AID-APP17>3.0.CO;2-0
[4] Zadorecki, P. and Flodin, P. (1986) Surface Modification of Cellulose Fibres. III. Durability of Cellulose-Polyester Composites under Environmental Ageing. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 31, 1699-1707.
[5] Adekunle, K., Akesson, D. and Skrifvars, M. (2010) Biobased Composites Prepared by Compression Molding with a Novel Thermoset Resin from Soybean Oil and a Natural-Fiber Reinforcement. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 116, 1759-1765.
[6] Hassan, A., Yahya, R., Yahaya, A.H., Tahir, A.R.M. and Hornsby, P.R. (2004) Tensile, Impact and Fiber Length Pro- perties of Injection-Molded Short and Long Glass Fiber-Reinforced Polyamide 6,6 Composites. Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites, 23, 969-986.
[7] Luo, S. and Netravali, A.N. (1999) Interfacial and Mechanical Properties of Environment-Friendly “Green” Composites Made from Pineapple Fibers and Poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-valerate) Resin. Journal of Materials Science, 34, 3709- 3719.
[8] Dweib, M.A., Hu, B., O’Donnell, A., Shenton, H.W. and Woo, R.P. (2004) All Natural Composite Sandwich Beams for Structural Applications. Composite Structures, 63, 147-157.
[9] Torres, F.G. and Cubillas, M.L. (2005) Study of the Interfacial Properties of Natural Fibre Reinforced Polyethylene. Polymer Testing, 24, 694-698.
[10] Liu, Z.S., Erhan, S.Z. and Calvert, P.D. (2007) Solid Freeform Fabrication of Epoxidized Soybean Oil/Epoxy Composite with Bis or Polyalkyleneamine Curing Agents. Composites Part A, 38, 87-93.
[11] Hornsby, P.R., Hinrichsen, E. and Tarverdi, K. (1997) Preparation and Properties of Polypropylene Composites Reinforced with Wheat and Flax Straw Fibres: Part I Fibre Characterization. Journal of Materials Science, 32, 443-449.
[12] Van den Oever, M.J.A., Bos, H.L. and Molenveld, K. (1999) Flax Fibre Physical Structure and Its Effect on Composite Properties: Impact Strength and Thermo-Mechanical Properties. Die Angewandte Makromolekulare Chemie, 272, 71-76.<71::AID-APMC71>3.0.CO;2-R
[13] Gamstedt, E.K., Skrifvars, M., Jacobsen, T.K. and Pyrz, R. (2002) Synthesis of Unsaturated Polyesters for Improved Interfacial Strength in Carbon Fibre Composites. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 33, 1239-1252.
[14] Gassan, J. and Bledzki, A.K. (2000) Possibilities to Improve the Properties of Natural Fiber Reinforced Plastics by Fiber Modification—Jute Polypropylene Composites. Applied Composite Materials, 7, 373-385.
[15] Herrmann, A.S., Nickel, J. and Riedel, U. (1998) Construction Materials Based upon Biologically Renewable Resources—From Components to Finished Parts. Polymer Degradation and Stability, 59, 251-261.
[16] Bledzki, A.K. and Gassan, J. (1996) Effect of Coupling Agents on the Moisture Absorption of Natural Fibre Reinforced Plastics. Die Angewandte Makromolekulare Chemie, 236, 129-139.
[17] Bledzki, A.K. and Gassan, J. (1999) Composites Reinforced with Cellulose Based Fibres. Progress in Polymer Science, 24, 221-274.
[18] Young, R.A. (1976) Wettability of Wood Pulp Fibers: Applicability of Methodology. Wood and Fiber Science, 8, 120-128.
[19] Toussaint, A.F. and Luner, P. (1988) The Wetting Properties of Hydrophobically Modified Cellulose Surfaces. Proceedings of the 10th Cellulose Conference, 29, 1515-1530.
[20] Hodgson, K.T. and Berg, J.C. (1988) Dynamic Wettability Properties of Single Wood Pulp Fibres and Their Relationship to Absorbency. Wood and Fiber Science, 20, 3-17.
[21] Liu, F.P., Wolcott, M.P., Gardner, D.J. and Rials, T.G. (1994) Characterization of the Interface between Cellulosic Fibers and a Thermoplastic Matrix. Composite Interfaces, 2, 419-432.
[22] Sakata, I., Morita, M., Tsuruta, N. and Morita, K. (1993) Activation of Wood Surface by Corona Treatment to Improve Adhesive Bonding. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 49, 1251-1258.
[23] Belgacem, M.N., Bataille, P. and Sapieha, S. (1994) Effect of Corona Modification on the Mechanical Properties of Polypropylene Cellulose Composites. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 53, 379-385.
[24] Dong, S., Sapieha, S. and Schreiber, H.P. (1992) Rheological Properties of Corona Modified Cellulose/Polyethylene Composites. Polymer Engineering & Science, 32, 1734-1739.
[25] Nevel, T.P. and Zeronian, S.H. (1985) Cellulose Chemistry and Its Applications. Wiley, New York.
[26] Mittal, K.L. (1992) Silanes and Other Coupling Agents. VSP BV, Netherlands.
[27] Ugbolue, S.C.O. (1990) Structure/Property Relationships in Textile Fibres. Journal of the Textile Institute, 20, 41-43.
[28] Maldas, D. and Kokta, B.V. (1989) Improving Adhesion of Wood Fiber with Polystyrene by the Chemical Treatment of Fiber with a Coupling Agent and the Influence on the Mechanical Properties of Composites. Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology, 3, 529-539.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.