A Review on Grafting of Biofibers for Biocomposites
Wei, L.; McDonald, A.G.
Bibliotheek Wageningen University & Research
Materials 9 4: 1 - 23
A recent increase in the use of biofibers as low-cost and renewable reinforcement for the polymer biocomposites has been seen globally. Biofibers are classified into: lignocellulosic fibers (i.e., cellulose, wood and natural fibers), nanocellulose (i.e., cellulose nanocrystals and cellulose nanofibrils), and bacterial cellulose, while polymer matrix materials can be petroleum based or bio-based. Green biocomposites can be produced using both biobased fibers and polymers. Incompatibility between the hydrophilic biofibers and hydrophobic polymer matrix can cause performance failure of resulting biocomposites. Diverse efforts have focused on the modification of biofibers in order to improve the performances of biocomposites. “Grafting” copolymerization strategy can render the advantages of biofiber and impart polymer properties onto it and the performance of biocomposites can be tuned through changing grafting parameters. This review presents a short overview of various “grafting” methods which can be directly or potentially employed to enhance the interaction between biofibers and a polymer matrix for biocomposites. Major grafting techniques, including ring opening polymerization, grafting via coupling agent and free radical induced grafting, have been discussed. Improved properties such as mechanical, thermal, and water resistance have provided grafted biocomposites with new opportunities for applications in specific industries.