Special Issue "High Performance Natural Fibre Composites"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Darshil U. Shah
Website
Guest Editor
Senior Research Associate, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge, UK
Interests: natural fibre composites; bioinspiration & biomimetics; structure-property-processing relations; damage and composite health; design education
Assoc. Prof. Mike Clifford
Website
Guest Editor
Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
Interests: sustainable and appropriate technologies; natural fibre composites; biomass cookstoves; engineering education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue (SI) publishes original research articles, review articles, and short communications covering the design, manufacture and performance of natural fibre composites intended for (semi-) structural applications. Semi-structural components can self-support their own weight, while structural components can also withstand additional loads. The SI aims to reflect the design possibilities with natural fibre composites, inspiring the creation of next-generation biocomposite products beyond conventional automotive interior components and house decking.

Articles with a focus on biocomposites incorporating long fibre lengths (>15mm) or aligned fibre architectures (e.g. UD, biaxials) are invited. Natural fibres of interest include, but are not limited to, bast fibres, like flax and hemp, sisal and coir, as well as silk fibres. The SI especially invites studies involving bio-based matrices, however synthetic resins may also fit the scope.

We welcome reports from innovative ‘prototyping’ and ‘design, make and test’ projects. For instance, these may explore stiffness-limited, strength-limited, or vibration-limited design. We also seek cross-comparative studies validating or evaluating the performance of biocomposites against other conventional materials (e.g. glass fibre composites, aluminium, laminated wood). Computational and analytical manuscripts are of interest provided they are design or product oriented.

Dr. Darshil U. Shah
Assoc. Prof. Mike Clifford
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. 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

  • natural fibre composites
  • plant fibres
  • silk
  • structural applications
  • design & manufacture
  • structural analysis

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Rendering Wood Veneers Flexible and Electrically Conductive through Delignification and Electroless Ni Plating
Materials 2019, 12(19), 3198; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12193198 - 29 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Wood has unique advantages. However, the rigid structure and intrinsic insulating nature of wood limit its applications. Herein, a two-step process is developed to render wood veneers conductive and flexible. In the first step, most of the lignin and hemicellulose in the wood [...] Read more.
Wood has unique advantages. However, the rigid structure and intrinsic insulating nature of wood limit its applications. Herein, a two-step process is developed to render wood veneers conductive and flexible. In the first step, most of the lignin and hemicellulose in the wood veneer are removed by hydrothermal treatment. In the second step, electroless Ni plating and subsequent pressing are carried out. The obtained Ni-plated veneer is flexible and bendable, and has a high tensile strength of 21.9 and 4.4 MPa along and across the channel direction, respectively, the former of which is considerably higher than that of carbon cloth and graphene foam. Moreover, this product exhibits high electrical conductivity around 1.1 × 103 S m−1, which is comparable to that of carbon cloth and graphene foam, and significantly outperforms previously reported wood-based conductors. This work reveals an effective strategy to transform cheap and renewable wood into a high value-added product that rivals expensive carbon cloth and graphene foam. The obtained product is particularly promising as a current collector for flexible and wearable electrochemical energy storage devices such as supercapacitors and Li-ion batteries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Performance Natural Fibre Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Mechanical, Physical, and Morphological Properties of Epoxy Composites Reinforced with Different Date Palm Fillers
Materials 2019, 12(13), 2145; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12132145 - 03 Jul 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The present study deals with the fabrication of epoxy composites reinforced with 50 wt% of date palm leaf sheath (G), palm tree trunk (L), fruit bunch stalk (AA), and leaf stalk (A) as filler by the hand lay-up technique. The developed composites were [...] Read more.
The present study deals with the fabrication of epoxy composites reinforced with 50 wt% of date palm leaf sheath (G), palm tree trunk (L), fruit bunch stalk (AA), and leaf stalk (A) as filler by the hand lay-up technique. The developed composites were characterized and compared in terms of mechanical, physical and morphological properties. Mechanical tests revealed that the addition of AA improves tensile (20.60–40.12 MPa), impact strength (45.71–99.45 J/m), flexural strength (32.11–110.16 MPa) and density (1.13–1.90 g/cm3). The water absorption and thickness swelling values observed in this study were higher for AA/epoxy composite, revealing its higher cellulosic content, compared to the other composite materials. The examination of fiber pull-out, matrix cracks, and fiber dislocations in the microstructure and fractured surface morphology of the developed materials confirmed the trends for mechanical properties. Overall, from results analysis it can be concluded that reinforcing epoxy matrix with AA filler effectively improves the properties of the developed composite materials. Thus, date palm fruit bunch stalk filler might be considered as a sustainable and green promising reinforcing material similarly to other natural fibers and can be used for diverse commercial, structural, and nonstructural applications requiring high mechanical resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Performance Natural Fibre Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Void Content, Tensile, Vibration and Acoustic Properties of Kenaf/Bamboo Fiber Reinforced Epoxy Hybrid Composites
Materials 2019, 12(13), 2094; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12132094 - 28 Jun 2019
Abstract
This study aims to investigate the void content, tensile, vibration and acoustic properties of kenaf/bamboo fiber reinforced epoxy hybrid composites. The composites were made using the hand lay-up method. The weight ratios of kenaf/bamboo were 30:70, 50:50 and 70:30. Further, kenaf and bamboo [...] Read more.
This study aims to investigate the void content, tensile, vibration and acoustic properties of kenaf/bamboo fiber reinforced epoxy hybrid composites. The composites were made using the hand lay-up method. The weight ratios of kenaf/bamboo were 30:70, 50:50 and 70:30. Further, kenaf and bamboo composites were fabricated for the purpose of comparison. The hybridization of woven kenaf/bamboo reduced the void content. The void contents of hybrid composites were almost similar. An enhancement in elongation at break, tensile strength and modulus of hybrid composites was observed until a kenaf/bamboo ratio of 50:50. Kenaf/bamboo (50:50) hybrid composite displays the highest elongation at break, tensile strength and modulus compared to the other hybrid composites which are 2.42 mm, 55.18 MPa and 5.15 GPa, respectively. On the other hand, the highest natural frequency and damping factors were observed for Bamboo/Kenaf (30:70) hybrid composites. The sound absorption coefficient of composites were measured in two conditions: without air gap and with air gap (10, 20, 30 mm). The sound absorption coefficient for testing without air gap was less than 0.5. Introducing an air gap improved the sound absorption coefficient of all composites. Hence, hybrid kenaf/bamboo composites exhibited less void content, as well as improved tensile, vibration and acoustic properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Performance Natural Fibre Composites)
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