Developing a new generation of sisal composite fibres for use in industrial applications


Developing a new generation of sisal composite fibres for use in industrial applications


The aim of this work is to develop a new generation of nanoparticle-reinforced natural sisal fibres, which are also provided with several polymeric coating materials namely natural latex, polylactide and polyurethane. The improvement in the modified sisal fibres is validated by measuring the moisture content, mechanical properties by single fibre tensile testing and the thermal stability using the TGA through individual fibre tests. In addition, pull-out test is performed to examine the fibre/matrix adhesion. Further investigations of surface morphology are carried out using the optical microscope. Distribution of nanoparticles on the surface of fibres and in between the bundles as well as the polymer sleeving around the fibres are investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Furthermore, from this new type of natural fibre, a technical textile is made, which is processed through a common resin infusion process for production of fibre-reinforced composites.

The analysis of the produced sleeved nanoparticle reinforced sisal fibre bundle samples proved a significant reduction in moisture absorption by 50% from the starting value. SEM investigations show uniform distribution of the injected nanoparticles between the fibrils and on the surface of the fibre bundle. Tensile strength of the single composite fibre increases by around 50% in comparison to the original unmodified sisal fibre for the latex sleeving. The change in the modulus of elasticity of the modified fibres follows a trend which complies with the properties of the applied sleeving material. Thermal stability of the composite fibre is positively improved where the decomposition temperature increased by 20 °C after fibre modification. The fibre/matrix bonding of imbedded modified sisal fibres in the epoxy resin is also dramatically enhanced especially in PLA and Latex sleeving cases as no matrix de-bonding as failure aspect is reported out of the pull-out test. Microscopic investigations of the laminate produced from the modified fibres show very uniform surface profile enhanced by the latex sleeve around the single fibres.


  • A. fibres;
  • A. Nano plastics;
  • B. Mechanical properties;
  • B. Thermal properties;
  • B. Fibre/matrix bond

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