An innovative treatment based on sodium citrate for improving the mechanical performances of flax fiber reinforced composites

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Abstract

The goal of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of a cost-effective and eco-friendly treatment based on the use of sodium citrate (Na3C6H5O7) on the mechanical properties of flax fiber reinforced composites. To this scope, flax fibers were soaked in mildly alkaline solutions of the sodium salt at different weight concentration (i.e., 5%, 10% and 20%) for 120 h at 25 °C. The modifications on fibers surface induced by the proposed treatment were evaluated through Fourier transform infrared analysis (FTIR), whereas scanning electron microscope (SEM) and helium pycnometer were used to obtain useful information about composites morphology. The effect of the concentration of the treating solution on the mechanical response of composites was determined through quasi-static tensile and flexural tests, Charpy impact tests and dynamical mechanical thermal (DMTA) tests. The results revealed that composites reinforced with flax fibers treated in 10% solution exhibit the best mechanical performances as well as the lowest void contents. SEM analysis supported these findings showing that, by treating fibers in solutions with concentration up to 10%, composites having better morphology can be manufactured, in comparison to untreated ones. Conversely, higher Na3C6H5O7 concentrations negatively affect both the morphology and the mechanical properties of composites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalPolymers
Volume13
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics

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