Special Issue "Advances in Natural Fibers and Polymers"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomaterials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Francisco Javier Espinach Orús
Website
Guest Editor
Development and Product Innovation, Universitat de Girona, Girona, Spain
Interests: Composites; Natural fibers; Micromechanics; mechanical porperties; Ecodesign
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Special Issue aims to provide a forum for the discussion about the recent advances in the use of natural fibres from wood or annual plant strands, virgin or recycled from the textile industries as reinforcement, or filler material for composite materials, based on bio-based or biodegradable matrices.

The scope of the Issue includes basic research on the chemical structure of the composites and its interface, as well as the applied research on the mechanical and micromechanical properties of the materials. The Issue also includes studies on the life cycle assessment or environmental impact of the composites.

Dr. Francesc Xavier Espinach
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. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2000 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

  • Annual plants
  • Recycled strands
  • Natural fiber composites
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Mechanical properties
  • Interphase
  • Micromechanics
  • Biodegradable matrices
  • Bio-based polymers

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Impact Properties and Water Uptake Behavior of Old Newspaper Recycled Fibers-Reinforced Polypropylene Composites
Materials 2020, 13(5), 1079; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13051079 - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
Natural fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites can be an alternative to mineral fiber-based composites, especially when economic and environment concerns are included under the material selection criteria. In recent years, the literature has shown how lignocellulosic fiber-reinforced composites can be used for a variety of [...] Read more.
Natural fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites can be an alternative to mineral fiber-based composites, especially when economic and environment concerns are included under the material selection criteria. In recent years, the literature has shown how lignocellulosic fiber-reinforced composites can be used for a variety of applications. Nonetheless, the impact strength and the water uptake behavior of such materials have been seen as drawbacks. In this work, the impact strength and the water uptake of composites made of polypropylene reinforced with fibers from recycled newspaper have been researched. The results show how the impact strength decreases with the percentage of reinforcement in a similar manner to that of glass fiber-reinforced polypropylene composites as a result of adding a fragile phase to the material. It was found that the water uptake increased with the increasing percentages of lignocellulosic fibers due to the hydrophilic nature of such reinforcements. The diffusion behavior was found to be Fickian. A maleic anhydride was added as a coupling agent in order to increase the strength of the interface between the matrix and the reinforcements. It was found that the presence of such a coupling agent increased the impact strength of the composites and decreased the water uptake. Impact strengths of 21.3 kJ/m3 were obtained for a coupled composite with 30 wt % reinforcement contents, which is a value higher than that obtained for glass fiber-based materials. The obtained composites reinforced with recycled fibers showed competitive impact strength and water uptake behaviors in comparison with materials reinforced with raw lignocellulosic fibers. The article increases the knowledge on newspaper fiber-reinforced polyolefin composite properties, showing the competitiveness of waste-based materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Natural Fibers and Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Topography of the Interfacial Shear Strength and the Mean Intrinsic Tensile Strength of Hemp Fibers as a Reinforcement of Polypropylene
Materials 2020, 13(4), 1012; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13041012 - 24 Feb 2020
Abstract
The strength of the interphase between the reinforcements and the matrix has a major role in the mechanical properties of natural fiber reinforced polyolefin composites. The creation of strong interphases is hindered by the hydrophobic and hydrophilic natures of the matrix and the [...] Read more.
The strength of the interphase between the reinforcements and the matrix has a major role in the mechanical properties of natural fiber reinforced polyolefin composites. The creation of strong interphases is hindered by the hydrophobic and hydrophilic natures of the matrix and the reinforcements, respectively. Adding coupling agents has been a common strategy to solve this problem. Nonetheless, a correct dosage of such coupling agents is important to, on the one hand guarantee strong interphases and high tensile strengths, and on the other hand ensure a full exploitation of the strengthening capabilities of the reinforcements. The paper proposes using topographic profile techniques to represent the effect of reinforcement and coupling agent contents of the strength of the interphase and the exploitation of the reinforcements. This representation allowed identifying the areas that are more or less sensitive to coupling agent content. The research also helped by finding that an excess of coupling agent had less impact than a lack of this component. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Natural Fibers and Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Filler Content on the Tensile Behavior of Polypropylene/Cotton Fiber and poly(vinyl chloride)/Cotton Fiber Composites
Materials 2020, 13(3), 753; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13030753 - 06 Feb 2020
Abstract
This paper investigates the effect of filler content on the mechanical properties of cotton fiber (CF) on the CF/PP and CF/PVC composites under quasi-static loading. For this purpose, experimental tensile tests were carried out on dog-bone specimens, cut out from hot and cold [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the effect of filler content on the mechanical properties of cotton fiber (CF) on the CF/PP and CF/PVC composites under quasi-static loading. For this purpose, experimental tensile tests were carried out on dog-bone specimens, cut out from hot and cold press molded square plates of different fiber weight contents. The results obtained show that the filler content appears to have a strong influence on mechanical energy absorption, and failure characteristics. It was also found that the stiffness for both sets of material increases with the addition of filler. On the other hand, the ductility for both sets of the material increases with the addition of filler. The microscopic morphology study indicates that CF/PP possesses a glossy surface appearance compared to CF/PVC, which possesses a porous surface. Micro-scale damage characteristics from tensile tests indicate that material experienced shear failure, matrix cracking, fiber breakage, fiber fracture, and fiber pullout. The phenomenon of matrix crazing experienced by CF/PP composites was also observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Natural Fibers and Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Analysis and Simulation of Novel Technical Textile Reinforced Composite of Banana Fibre
Materials 2019, 12(7), 1134; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12071134 - 07 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The use of natural fibres allows reducing environmental impact, due to their natural renewable origin and the lower energy needed for their production and processing. This work presents the mechanical characterization of a newly developed technical textile, with banana fibre treated by enzymes, [...] Read more.
The use of natural fibres allows reducing environmental impact, due to their natural renewable origin and the lower energy needed for their production and processing. This work presents the mechanical characterization of a newly developed technical textile, with banana fibre treated by enzymes, comparing experimental results with numerical simulation based on the definition of the unit cell at micromechanical level. The experimental test shows that the composite with the fabric of banana fibre presents worse mechanical behaviour than the one with commercial flax fibre. The presence of wool, necessary for producing the yarn, reduces the mechanical properties of the banana textile. The numerical simulation had an acceptable error compared with the experimental results, with a global average error of 9%, showing that the predictive modelling based on the multiscale method is suitable for the design process of this kind of composite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Natural Fibers and Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Thermal, Mechanical, Viscoelastic and Morphological Properties of Poly(lactic acid) based Biocomposites with Potato Pulp Powder Treated with Waxes
Materials 2019, 12(6), 990; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12060990 - 26 Mar 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
The thermal, mechanical and viscoelastic properties of biocomposites of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) with 20 wt.% of potato pulp powder were investigated. The potato pulp powder utilized is a byproduct from the production and extraction of starch. The results showed that the potato pulp [...] Read more.
The thermal, mechanical and viscoelastic properties of biocomposites of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) with 20 wt.% of potato pulp powder were investigated. The potato pulp powder utilized is a byproduct from the production and extraction of starch. The results showed that the potato pulp powder does not act as reinforcement, but as filler for PLA, due to an unfavorable aspect ratio and the irregular shape of the particles. In order to improve the mechanical response of the PLA/potato pulp powder biocomposites, surface treatment of the potato pulp particles with bio-based and petroleum-based waxes was investigated. This treatment was found to improve the properties of the biocomposites, enhancing the adhesion between the PLA based polymeric matrix and the potato pulp fibers. The best result is obtained with a petroleum-based wax, but also the bio-based waxes lead to good mechanical properties of the biocomposite. Thus, the addition to PLA of potato pulp powder, treated with waxes, appears a method able to (i) utilize and valorize an abundant agro-food biomass such as potato pulp, according to the principles of circular economy, (ii) favor the production of articles with properties valuable for practical applications, and (iii) reduce the cost of the final products, considering the relatively high cost of PLA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Natural Fibers and Polymers)
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