Progress report on natural fiber reinforced composites
This century has witnessed remarkable achievements in green technology in material science through the development of natural fiber reinforced composites. The development of high-performance engineering products made from natural resources is increasing worldwide day by day. There is increasing interest in materials demonstrating efficient use of renewable resources. Nowadays, more than ever, companies are faced with opportunities and choices in material innovations. Due to the challenges of petroleum-based products and the need to find renewable solutions, more and more companies are looking at natural fiber composite materials. The primary driving forces for new bio-composite materials are the cost of natural fibers (currently priced at one-third of the cost of glass fiber or less), weight reduction (these fibers are half the weight of glass fiber), recycling (natural fiber composites are easier to recycle) and the desire for green products. This Review provides an overview of natural fiber reinfocred composites focusing on natural fiber types and sources, processing methods, modification of fibers, matrices (petrochemical and renewable), and their mechanical performance. It also focuses on future research, recent developments and applications and concludes with key issues that need to be resolved. This article critically summarizes the essential findings of the mostly readily utilized reinforced natural fibers in polymeric composite materials and their performance from 2000 to 2013.