Abstract: Enset fiber is agricultural waste and available in a surplus amount in Ethiopia. However, the hypothesized variation in properties of this fiber due to diversity of its plant source breed, fiber position within plant stem and chemical treatment duration had not proven that its application for the development of composite products is problematic. Currently, limited data are known on the functional properties of the fiber as a potential functional fiber. Thus, an effort is made in this study to narrow the knowledge gaps by characterizing it. The experimental design was conducted using Design-Expert software and the tensile test was conducted on Enset fiber from 10 breeds: Dego, Dirbo, Gishera, Itine, Siskela, Neciho, Yesherkinke, Tuzuma, Ankogena, and Kucharkia. The effects of 5% Na-OH surface treatment duration and fiber location along and across the plant pseudostem was also investigated. The test result shows that the rupture stress variation is not significant among the fibers from 10 Enset breeds. However, strain variation is significant among the fibers from 10 Enset breeds that breed Dego fiber has the highest strain before failure. Surface treated fibers showed improved rupture strength and elastic modulus per 24 hours of treatment duration. Also, the result showed that chemical treatment can deteriorate the load-bearing capacity of the fiber. The raw fiber has the higher load-bearing capacity than the treated fiber. And, it was noted that both the rupture stress and strain increase in the top to bottom gradient, whereas there is no significant variation across the stem. Elastic modulus variation both along and across the stem was insignificant. The rupture stress, elastic modulus, and strain result of Enset fiber are 360.11 ± 181.86 MPa, 12.80 ± 6.85 GPa and 0.04 ± 0.02 mm/mm, respectively. These results show that Enset fiber is comparable to other natural fibers such as abaca, banana, and sisal fibers and can be used as alternatives natural fiber for composites application. Besides, the insignificant variation of properties among breeds and across stem is essential for all breeds and all leaf sheath of the Enset fiber plant for fiber extraction. The use of short natural fiber over the long is preferable to reduce the significant variation of properties along the stem or fiber direction. In conclusion, Enset fiber application for composite product design and development is mechanically feasible.
Abstract: Electrospinning is a simple, versatile and widely accepted technique to produce ultra-fine fibers ranging from nanometer to micron. Recently there has been great interest in developing this technique to produce nanofibers with novel properties and functionalities. The electrospinning field is extremely broad, and consequently there have been many useful reviews discussing various aspects from detailed fiber formation mechanism to the formation of nanofibers and to discussion on a wide range of applications. On the other hand, the focus of this study is quite narrow, highlighting electrospinning parameters. This work will briefly cover the solution and processing parameters (for instance; concentration, solvent type, voltage, flow rate, distance between the collector and the tip of the needle) impacting the morphological characteristics of nanofibers, such as diameter. In this paper, a comprehensive work would be presented on the research of producing nanofibers from natural polymer entitled Gelatin.
Abstract: Fiber cross sectional area value is a crucial factor in determining the strength properties of natural fiber. Furthermore, unlike synthetic fiber, a diameter and cross sectional area of natural fiber has a large variation along and between the fibers. This study aims to determine the main and interaction effects of alkali treatment conditions which influence kenaf bast fiber mean cross sectional area. Three alkali treatment conditions at two different levels were selected. The conditions setting were alkali concentrations at 2 and 10 w/v %; fiber immersed temperature at room temperature and 1000C; and fiber immersed duration for 30 and 480 minutes. Untreated kenaf fiber was used as a control unit. Kenaf bast fiber bundle mounting tab was prepared according to ASTM C1557-03. Cross sectional area was measured using a Leica video analyzer. The study result showed that kenaf fiber bundle mean cross sectional area was reduced 6.77% to 29.88% after alkali treatment. From analysis of variance, it shows that interaction of alkali concentration and immersed time has a higher magnitude at 0.1619 compared to alkali concentration and immersed temperature interaction which was 0.0896. For the main effect, alkali concentration factor contributes to the higher magnitude at 0.1372 which indicated are decrease pattern of variability when the level was change from lower to higher level. Then, it was followed by immersed temperature at 0.1261 and immersed time at 0.0696 magnitudes.
Abstract: Environmental awareness and depletion of the
petroleum resources are among vital factors that motivate a number
of researchers to explore the potential of reusing natural fiber as an
alternative composite material in industries such as packaging,
automotive and building constructions. Natural fibers are available in
abundance, low cost, lightweight polymer composite and most
importance its biodegradability features, which often called “ecofriendly"
materials. However, their applications are still limited due
to several factors like moisture absorption, poor wettability and large
scattering in mechanical properties. Among the main challenges on
natural fibers reinforced matrices composite is their inclination to
entangle and form fibers agglomerates during processing due to
fiber-fiber interaction. This tends to prevent better dispersion of the
fibers into the matrix, resulting in poor interfacial adhesion between
the hydrophobic matrix and the hydrophilic reinforced natural fiber.
Therefore, to overcome this challenge, fiber treatment process is one
common alternative that can be use to modify the fiber surface
topology by chemically, physically or mechanically technique.
Nevertheless, this paper attempt to focus on the effect of
mercerization treatment on mechanical properties enhancement of
natural fiber reinforced composite or so-called bio composite. It
specifically discussed on mercerization parameters, and natural fiber
reinforced composite mechanical properties enhancement.