This research is a continuation of our effort in development of high performance natural rubber composite from pineapple leaf fiber. The large difference in polarity between the fiber and the nonpolar rubber matrix provides poor adhesion between the two. The problem was overcome with the use of liquid functionalized rubber. It was anticipated that the functionalized rubber would act as a strong bridge between the fiber and the rubber matrix. As expected, dynamic mechanical analysis confirms that the moduli of the reinforced rubber significantly improved at temperatures above the rubber’s glass transition temperature. Further improvement was obtained with surface modified fiber. The findings certainly ensure that pineapple leaf fiber can be used as a green and high-performance reinforcement for natural rubber composite. This high performance bio-based material could be useful for many applications and is expected to increase the value for both natural rubber and pineapple leaf waste.
Reference: “Realising the Potential of Pineapple Leaf Fiber as Green and High-performance Reinforcement for Natural Rubber Composite with Liquid Functionalized Rubber”, Surajarusarn, B., Thaiwattananon, S., Thanawan, S., Mougin, K., Amornsakchai, T., Fibers Polym. 22 (9), 2543-2551 (2021).