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Polymers 2015, 7(11), 2205-2222; doi:10.3390/polym7111509

A Review of Natural Fiber Reinforced Poly(Vinyl Alcohol) Based Composites: Application and Opportunity

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Malaysia
3
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Walter Remo Caseri
Received: 11 August 2015 / Revised: 23 August 2015 / Accepted: 30 September 2015 / Published: 2 November 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1060 KB, uploaded 2 November 2015]   |  

Abstract

Natural fibers are fine examples of renewable resources that play an important role in the composites industry, which produces superior strength comparable to synthetic fibers. Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) composites in particular have attracted enormous interest in view of their satisfactory performance, properties and biodegradability. Their performance in many applications such as consumer, biomedical, and agriculture is well defined and promising. This paper reviews the utilization of natural fibers from macro to nanoscale as reinforcement in PVA composites. An overview on the properties, processing methods, biodegradability, and applications of these composites is presented. The advantages arising from chemical and physical modifications of fibers or composites are discussed in terms of improved properties and performance. In addition, proper arrangement of nanocellulose in composites helps to prevent agglomeration and results in a better dispersion. The limitations and challenges of the composites and future works of these bio-composites are also discussed. This review concludes that PVA composites have potential for use in numerous applications. However, issues on technological feasibility, environmental effectiveness, and economic affordability should be considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: fibers; polymer-matrix composites (PMCs); environmental degradation; mechanical properties fibers; polymer-matrix composites (PMCs); environmental degradation; mechanical properties
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tan, B.K.; Ching, Y.C.; Poh, S.C.; Abdullah, L.C.; Gan, S.N. A Review of Natural Fiber Reinforced Poly(Vinyl Alcohol) Based Composites: Application and Opportunity. Polymers 2015, 7, 2205-2222.

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