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Open AccessReview

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
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Walter Remo Caseri
Polymers 2015, 7(11), 2205-2222; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym7111509
Received: 11 August 2015 / Revised: 23 August 2015 / Accepted: 30 September 2015 / Published: 2 November 2015
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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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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