Natural fibers have attained the potential market in the composite industry because of the huge environmental impact caused by synthetic fibers. Among the natural fibers, jute fibers are the most abundant plant fibers which are manufactured mainly in countries like India. Even though there is a good motive to utilize the natural supplement, the strength of the natural fiber composites is still a topic of discussion. In recent days, many researchers are showing interest in the chemical modification of the natural fibers to increase various mechanical and thermal properties. In the present study, jute fibers have been modified chemically using glutaric anhydride at different concentrations of 5%, 10%, 20%, and 30%. The glutaric anhydride solution is prepared by dissolving the different quantity of glutaric anhydride in benzene and dimethyl-sulfoxide using sodium formate catalyst. The jute fiber mats have been treated by the method of retting at various time intervals of 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36 hours. The modification structure of the treated fibers has been confirmed with infrared spectroscopy. The degree of modification increases with an increase in retention time, but higher retention time has damaged the fiber structure. The unmodified fibers and glutarylated fibers at different retention times are reinforced with epoxy matrix under room temperature. The tensile strength and flexural strength of the composites are analyzed in detail. Among these, the composite made with glutarylated fiber has shown good mechanical properties when compared to those made of unmodified fiber.
This study aimed to investigate the effect of aggressive environment on the flexural properties of halloysite nanotubes-polyester nanocomposites. Results showed that the addition of halloysite nanotubes into polyester matrix was found to improve flexural properties of the nanocomposites in dry condition and after water-methanol exposure. Significant increase in surface roughness was also observed and measured by Alicona Infinite Focus optical microscope.
Rice husk and kenaf filled with calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) composite were prepared separately using twin-screw extruder at 50rpm. Different filler loading up to 30 parts of rice husk particulate and kenaf fiber were mixed with the fixed 30% amount of CaCO3 mineral filler to produce rice husk/CaCO3/HDPE and kenaf/CaCO3/HDPE hybrid composites. In this study, the effects of natural fiber for both rice husk and kenaf in CaCO3/HDPE composite on physical, mechanical and morphology properties were investigated. Field Emission Scanning Microscope (FeSEM) was used to investigate the impact fracture surfaces of the hybrid composite. The property analyses showed that water absorption increased with the presence of kenaf and rice husk fillers. Natural fibers in composite significantly influence water absorption properties due to natural characters of fibers which contain cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin structures. The result showed that 10% of additional natural fibers into hybrid composite had caused decreased flexural strength, however additional of high natural fiber (>10%) filler loading has proved to increase its flexural strength.
The main objective of the study is focused in producing slag based geopolymer concrete obtained with the addition of alkali activator. Test results indicated that the reaction of silicates in slag is based on the reaction potential of sodium hydroxide and the formation of alumino-silicates. The study also comprises on the evaluation of the efficiency of polymer reaction in terms of the strength gain properties for different geopolymer mixtures. Geopolymer mixture proportions were designed for different binder to total aggregate ratio (0.3 & 0.45) and fine to coarse aggregate ratio (0.4 & 0.8). Geopolymer concrete specimens casted with normal curing conditions reported a maximum 28 days compressive strength of 54.75 MPa. The addition of glued steel fibres at 1.0% Vf in geopolymer concrete showed reasonable improvements on the compressive strength, split tensile strength and flexural properties of different geopolymer mixtures. Further, comparative assessment was made for different geopolymer mixtures and the reinforcing effects of steel fibres were investigated in different concrete matrix.