Special Issue "Natural Fibers"

A special issue of Fibers (ISSN 2079-6439).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Monica Ardanuy

Departament de Ciència dels Materials i Eng. Metal.lúrgica, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya—Barcelona TECH, Terrassa 08222, Spain
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Phone: +34-93-7398158
Interests: natural fibers; natural fiber composites; cement-based composites; polymer-based composites; cellulose nanocomposites
Guest Editor
Dr. Josep Claramunt

Departamet d’Eng.Agroalimetària i Biotecnologia, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya—Barcelona TECH, Castelldefels 08860, Spain
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Phone: +34-93-5521076
Interests: natural fibers; cement-based composites; sustainable materials for building applications

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During the last few years, natural fibers have experienced a growing interest in their use in applications, mainly for composite reinforcement, but also for other technical and fashion applications. Apart from the well-known use of natural fibers to reinforce polymeric materials, these fibers can be used in cement-based composites. In this sense, although the reinforcement of building materials with natural fibers has been applied since ancient times, the need for eco-friendly construction products has led to a “revival” of these materials. The role of natural fibers as reinforcement for brittle matrix is basically to improve the ductility and flexural capacity of the post-cracked composite. Compared with the common synthetic fibers used for cement based composites, natural fibers are nonhazardous, have renewable origin, and are biodegradable, and present comparable specific mechanical performance, allowing the development of more sustainable and ecofriendly materials for the building industry.

However, the industrial production in high volumes of cement- or polymeric-based composites reinforced with natural fibers is still currently limited for some drawbacks associated with these reinforcements like, its long-term durability, availability, chemical compatibility between the fiber and the matrix and consistency of properties of the fibers among others.

This Special Issue is intended to report latest research developments on natural fibers for biocomposite applications, focusing on contributions about treatment of the fibers to optimize fiber-matrix bonding, to minimize the water absorption of the fibers and increase its long-term durability on both polymer and cement based composites. Furthermore, contributions to improve the limitations of natural fibers on applications for structural reinforcement are also welcome. Technical, as well as review papers, are invited for this Special Issue.

Dr. Monica Ardanuy
Dr. Josep Claramunt
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Fibers is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Natural fibers
  • Fiber-matrix bonding
  • Fiber treatments
  • Long-term durability
  • Mechanical performance
  • Water absorption
  • Biocomposites
  • Cement composites
  • Polymeric composites

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Structural Evolution of Gossypium hirsutum Fibers Grown under Greenhouse and Hydroponic Conditions
Fibers 2018, 6(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6010011
Received: 27 November 2017 / Revised: 31 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 12 February 2018
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Abstract
Cotton is the leading fiber source in the textile industry and one of the world’s most important crops. Despite its economic interest, cotton culture exerts an enormous pressure on natural resources (land and water) and has a negative impact on the environment (abuse
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Cotton is the leading fiber source in the textile industry and one of the world’s most important crops. Despite its economic interest, cotton culture exerts an enormous pressure on natural resources (land and water) and has a negative impact on the environment (abuse of pesticides). Thus, alternative cotton growing methods are urged to be implemented. Recently, we have demonstrated that Gossypium hirsutum (“Upland” cotton) can be grown in a greenhouse (controlled conditions) and hydroponically. Here we report on the elucidation of the structural changes of the Gossypium hirsutum fibers during maturation grown [10, 14, 17, 20, 36 and 51 days post anthesis (dpa)] under a greenhouse and hydroponically, by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy with attenuated total reflectance (FT-IR ATR) and thermal gravimetric analysis/differential scanning calorimetry (TGA/DSC). The transition from primary to secondary cell wall growth occurs between 17 and 20 dpa—similarly to the soil-based cultures. However, this new cotton culture offers an advantageous pesticide and soil-free all year-round closed system with efficient water use yielding standardized mature fibers with improved properties (maturity, strength, length, whiteness). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Fibers)
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Open AccessArticle Characterisation of the Anisotropic Thermoelastic Properties of Natural Fibres for Composite Reinforcement
Fibers 2017, 5(4), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib5040036
Received: 24 July 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
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Abstract
There has been a substantial increase in the investigation of the potential of natural fibres as a replacement reinforcement in the traditional fibre reinforced polymer composite application. However, many researchers often overlook the anisotropic properties of these fibres, and the estimation of the
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There has been a substantial increase in the investigation of the potential of natural fibres as a replacement reinforcement in the traditional fibre reinforced polymer composite application. However, many researchers often overlook the anisotropic properties of these fibres, and the estimation of the potential reinforcement performance. A full understanding of the thermoelastic anisotropy of natural fibres is important for realistically predicting their potential performance in composite applications. In this study, the thermoelastic properties of flax and sisal fibres were determined through a combination of experimental measurements and micromechanical modelling. The results confirm the high degree of anisotropy in properties of the flax and sisal fibres. The implications of these results on using natural fibres as an engineering composite reinforcement are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Fibers)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Routes towards Novel Collagen-Like Biomaterials
Fibers 2018, 6(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6020021
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 5 February 2018 / Accepted: 11 February 2018 / Published: 3 April 2018
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Abstract
Collagen plays a major role in providing mechanical support within the extracellular matrix and thus has long been used for various biomedical purposes. Exemplary, it is able to replace damaged tissues without causing adverse reactions in the receiving patient. Today’s collagen grafts mostly
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Collagen plays a major role in providing mechanical support within the extracellular matrix and thus has long been used for various biomedical purposes. Exemplary, it is able to replace damaged tissues without causing adverse reactions in the receiving patient. Today’s collagen grafts mostly are made of decellularized and otherwise processed animal tissue and therefore carry the risk of unwanted side effects and limited mechanical strength, which makes them unsuitable for some applications e.g., within tissue engineering. In order to improve collagen-based biomaterials, recent advances have been made to process soluble collagen through nature-inspired silk-like spinning processes and to overcome the difficulties in providing adequate amounts of source material by manufacturing collagen-like proteins through biotechnological methods and peptide synthesis. Since these methods also open up possibilities to incorporate additional functional domains into the collagen, we discuss one of the best-performing collagen-like type of proteins, which already have additional functional domains in the natural blueprint, the marine mussel byssus collagens, providing inspiration for novel biomaterials based on collagen-silk hybrid proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Fibers)
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