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Dependence of interfacial strength on the anisotropic fiber properties of jute reinforced composites

Thomason, J.L. (2010) Dependence of interfacial strength on the anisotropic fiber properties of jute reinforced composites. Polymer Composites, 31 (9). pp. 1525-1534. ISSN 0272-8397

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The upsurge in research on natural fiber composites over the past decade has not yet delivered any major progress in large scale replacement of glass fiber in volume engineering applications. This article presents data on injection-molded jute reinforced polypropylene and gives a balanced comparison with equivalent glass reinforced materials. The poor performance of natural fibers as reinforcements is discussed and both chemical modification of the matrix and mercerization and silane treatment of the fibers are shown to have little significant effect on their level of reinforcement of polypropylene in comparison to glass fibers. A hypothesis is proposed to explain the poor performance of natural fibers relating their low level of interfacial strength to the anisotropic internal fibre structure.