Special Issue "Natural Fibre Biocomposites"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Sheldon Shi

Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 9403695930
Interests: functional natural fiber composites; biomass to carbon conversion; engineered wood products

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is designed to update state-of-the-art technologies of biodegradable natural fibercomposite products. This Special Issue will consist of (but is not limit to) the following aspects:

  1. Fiber retting: The technologies for the conversion of wood and bast into fibers, including mechanical retting, bacterial retting, chemical retting, and other techniques;
  2. Fiber property characterizations: The physical and mechanical properties of different natural fibers, including wood, kenaf, hemp, cotton, wheat straw, bamboo, sisal, flex, and others;
  3. Fiber treatments: 1) treatment of natural fibers to enhance the interfacial bonding of fibers and the performance of the resulting composites; 2) treatment of natural fiber for the functionalization of fiber and the resulting composites;
  4. Bioresins and bioadhesives: This is to focus on the technology development of biodegradable adhesives and resins, such as soy based resin, glycosyl resin, and other plant based adhesives.Composites fabrication: Processing techniques for both structural and nonstructural natural fiber composites;
  5. Physical and mechanical properties, including decay resistant, biodegradability, mechanical performance, physical performance (thermal, sound, and others) of natural fiber composites
  6. Applications, including building, transportation, automobile and aerospace, military, and others

Prof. Sheldon Shi
Guest Editor

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 fiber treatment
  • Bioresin and bioadhesive
  • Natural fiber composites fabrication
  • Functional composites
  • Nanoparticle

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Moisture Absorption and Opacity of Starch-Based Biocomposites Reinforced with Cellulose Fiber from Bengkoang
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030062
Received: 17 July 2018 / Revised: 18 August 2018 / Accepted: 24 August 2018 / Published: 29 August 2018
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Abstract
Cellulose fiber was isolated from bengkoang (Pachyrhizus erosus) tuber peel. A suspension consisting of distilled water, starch, and glycerol was mixed with various cellulose loadings (0, 2, 6, and 10 g) then gelatinized using a hot plate with a magnetic stirrer.
[...] Read more.
Cellulose fiber was isolated from bengkoang (Pachyrhizus erosus) tuber peel. A suspension consisting of distilled water, starch, and glycerol was mixed with various cellulose loadings (0, 2, 6, and 10 g) then gelatinized using a hot plate with a magnetic stirrer. The biocomposite gel was sonicated using an ultrasonication probe (47.78 W/cm2 for 4 min). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrographs for the fracture surface of resulting biocomposite films displayed a rougher surface than starch film, indicating fiber dispersion in the matrix. The opacity and moisture resistance of biocomposite films increased with the addition of cellulose. The opacity was at a maximum value (243.05 AUnm) with 10 g fiber, which was 11.27% higher than the starch film without cellulose. Moisture absorption of this biocomposite was 16.79% lower than the starch film. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) confirmed this more hydrophobic nature with lower transmittance at –OH stretching in the composite than the starch film. The addition of cellulose fiber into the matrix also increased the crystallinity index. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Fibre Biocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Furfuryl Alcohol Fiber Pre-Treatment on the Moisture Absorption and Mechanical Properties of Flax Fiber Composites
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030059
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 16 August 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 19 August 2018
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Abstract
Poor moisture resistance of natural fiber reinforced bio-composites is a major concern in structural applications. Many efforts have been devoted to alleviate degradation of bio-composites caused by moisture absorption. Among them, fiber pre-treatment has been proven to be effective. This paper proposes an
[...] Read more.
Poor moisture resistance of natural fiber reinforced bio-composites is a major concern in structural applications. Many efforts have been devoted to alleviate degradation of bio-composites caused by moisture absorption. Among them, fiber pre-treatment has been proven to be effective. This paper proposes an alternative “green” fiber pretreatment with furfuryl alcohol. Pre-treatments with different parameters were performed and the influence on the mechanical properties of fiber bundles and composites was investigated. Moisture resistance of composites was evaluated by water absorption tests. Mechanical properties of composites with different water contents were analyzed in tensile tests. The results show that furfuryl alcohol pretreatment is a promising method to improve moisture resistance and mechanical properties (e.g., Young’s modulus increases up to 18%) of flax fiber composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Fibre Biocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle Heat and Mass Transfer Properties of Sugar Maple Wood Treated by the Thermo-Hygro-Mechanical Densification Process
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030051
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 13 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 July 2018 / Published: 24 July 2018
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Abstract
This study investigated the evolution of the density, gas permeability, and thermal conductivity of sugar maple wood during the thermo-hygro-mechanical densification process. The results suggested that the oven-dry average density of densified samples was significantly higher than that of the control samples. However,
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This study investigated the evolution of the density, gas permeability, and thermal conductivity of sugar maple wood during the thermo-hygro-mechanical densification process. The results suggested that the oven-dry average density of densified samples was significantly higher than that of the control samples. However, the oven-dry density did not show a linear increase with the decrease of wood samples thickness. The radial intrinsic gas permeability of the control samples was 5 to 40 times higher than that of densified samples, which indicated that the void volume of wood was reduced notably after the densification process. The thermal conductivity increased by 0.5–1.5 percent for an increase of one percent moisture content for densified samples. The thermal conductivity of densified wood was lower than that of the control samples. The densification time had significant effects on the oven-dry density and gas permeability. Both densification time and moisture content had significant effects on thermal conductivity but their interaction effect was not significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Fibre Biocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle Mechanical Properties of a Water Hyacinth Nanofiber Cellulose Reinforced Thermoplastic Starch Bionanocomposite: Effect of Ultrasonic Vibration during Processing
Fibers 2018, 6(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6020040
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 19 May 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 8 June 2018
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Abstract
Thermoplastic starch (TPS) reinforced by 1 wt % nanofiber cellulose (NFC) reinforcing from water hyacinth was produced. Ultrasonic vibration time (UVT) was applied to bionanocomposites during gelation for 0, 15, 30 and 60 min. Morphology of the NFC was investigated using Transmission Electron
[...] Read more.
Thermoplastic starch (TPS) reinforced by 1 wt % nanofiber cellulose (NFC) reinforcing from water hyacinth was produced. Ultrasonic vibration time (UVT) was applied to bionanocomposites during gelation for 0, 15, 30 and 60 min. Morphology of the NFC was investigated using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and tensile tests were performed to identify the fracture surface and determine the mechanical properties of the bionanocomposites, respectively. The Crystallinity index (CI) of untreated and treated bionanocomposites was measured using X-ray Diffraction (XRD). The average diameter of NFC water hyacinth was 10–20 nm. The maximum tensile strength (TS) and modulus elasticity (ME) of the bionanocomposite was 11.4 MPa and 443 MPa respectively, after 60 min UVT. This result was supported by SEM which indicated good dispersion and compact structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Fibre Biocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle Various Extraction Methods Influence the Adhesive Properties of Dried Distiller’s Grains and Solubles, and Press Cakes of Pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) and Lesquerella [Lesquerella fendleri (A. Gary) S. Watson], in the Fabrication of Lignocellulosic Composites
Fibers 2018, 6(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6020026
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
Lignocellulosic composite (LC) panels were fabricated using an adhesive matrix prepared from three different agricultural by-products: dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS), pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) press cake (PPC), or lesquerella [Lesquerella fendleri (A. Gary) S. Watson] press cake (LPC) reinforced
[...] Read more.
Lignocellulosic composite (LC) panels were fabricated using an adhesive matrix prepared from three different agricultural by-products: dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS), pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) press cake (PPC), or lesquerella [Lesquerella fendleri (A. Gary) S. Watson] press cake (LPC) reinforced with Paulownia elongata L. wood (PW) particles. The goal in this study was to assess the mechanical properties of composites utilizing these low-cost matrix materials, which were subjected to various oil extraction methods. Three types of oil extraction methods were utilized: ethanol, supercritical CO2, and hexane, in order to generate matrix materials. These matrix materials were mixed with equal proportions of PW and hot pressed to generate panels. Overall, hexane extraction was the best method to enhance the mechanical properties of the matrices used to fabricate lignocellulosic composites. LPC’s produced a matrix that gave the resulting composite superior flexural properties compared to composites generated from DDGS and PPC matrices. The mechanical properties of composites generated from soy products (soybean meal flour or soy protein isolate) were similar to those derived from DDGS, PPC, or LPC. The dimensional stability properties of LCs were improved when the hexane extraction method was employed, unlike with the other extraction methods that were used to generate matrices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Fibre Biocomposites)
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