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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2015, Article ID 243947, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/243947
Review Article

A Review on Natural Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composite and Its Applications

1Centre for Advance Materials, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Tenaga Nasional, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia
2Laboratory of Biocomposite Technology, Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products (INTROP), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
3Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Received 18 February 2015; Revised 29 June 2015; Accepted 30 August 2015

Academic Editor: Adriana Kovalcik

Copyright © 2015 Layth Mohammed et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Natural fibers are getting attention from researchers and academician to utilize in polymer composites due to their ecofriendly nature and sustainability. The aim of this review article is to provide a comprehensive review of the foremost appropriate as well as widely used natural fiber reinforced polymer composites (NFPCs) and their applications. In addition, it presents summary of various surface treatments applied to natural fibers and their effect on NFPCs properties. The properties of NFPCs vary with fiber type and fiber source as well as fiber structure. The effects of various chemical treatments on the mechanical and thermal properties of natural fibers reinforcements thermosetting and thermoplastics composites were studied. A number of drawbacks of NFPCs like higher water absorption, inferior fire resistance, and lower mechanical properties limited its applications. Impacts of chemical treatment on the water absorption, tribology, viscoelastic behavior, relaxation behavior, energy absorption flames retardancy, and biodegradability properties of NFPCs were also highlighted. The applications of NFPCs in automobile and construction industry and other applications are demonstrated. It concluded that chemical treatment of the natural fiber improved adhesion between the fiber surface and the polymer matrix which ultimately enhanced physicomechanical and thermochemical properties of the NFPCs.