Flax fiber-reinforced composites: the influence of fiber surface chemical treatment on mechanical performance
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Flax fibers can be used as environmentally-friendly alternatives to conventional reinforcing fibers (e.g., glass fiber) in composites. Flax fibers are less dense than glass fibers, are renewable and combustible (for easy disposal of composites), and are relatively low in price. This excellent price-performance ratio at low weight in combination with the environmentally friendly character is very important for the acceptance of natural fibers in large volume engineering markets. A major restriction to the successful use of natural fibers in durable composite applications is their high moisture absorption and poor dimensional stability. In order to improve their interfacial properties, fibers were subjected to different chemical modifications such as mercerization, silane treatment, benzoylation, and peroxide treatment. Selective removal of non-cellulosic compounds constitutes the main objective of the chemical treatments of flax fibers. Chemical treatments are able to induce fiber modifications that increase their resistance when utilized in composite products. Mechanical properties of untreated and treated fibers based composites were investigated.
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