Hongchang HAN, Xiao-Lu GONG,
One-Step Green Treatment of Hemp Fiber Used in Polypropylene Composites
Polymer Composites
DOI: 10.1002/pc.23191
DOI: 10.1002/pc.23191
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In this article, an eco‐friendly and cost effective surface treatment method is proposed for hemp fiber, enabling fabrication of hemp fiber/polypropylene (PP) composites, which show better mechanical properties than the PP composites containing untreated or alkali treated hemp fiber. Various techniques, such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), moisture analysis, and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), are employed for the characterization of hemp fiber and polymer composites interface. Based on these results, the conventional alkali treatment of hemp fiber results in the damage of elementary fiber by eliminating parts of lignin and hemicellulose, which could be the reason for the decline of mechanical properties for the resulted polymer composites. On the contrary, water treatment cleans the fiber surface by effectively removing the water‐soluble polysaccharides while ensures minimum degradation on elementary fiber structure, which contributes to the improved mechanical properties of final polymer composites: the Young's modulus, fracture stress and fracture strain were enhanced by 3.66, 7.86, and 14.6%, respectively, when compared with untreated fiber reinforced composites. POLYM. COMPOS., 37:385–390, 2016. © 2014 Society of Plastics Engineers