1Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering, University of Bologna, via Terracini 28, 40131, Bologna, Italy
2Department of Chemistry, Bahra University, Shimla Hills, Waknaghat 173 215, Dist. Solan (H.P.) India
3Department of Applied Chemistry, University of Johannesburg, Doorfontein 20280 Johannesburg, South Africa
4Department of Chemistry, Himachal Pradesh University, Summer Hill 171005 (H.P.) India
Adv. Mater. Lett., 2013, 4 (10), pp 742-748
Publication Date (Web): Oct 13, 2013
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Ramie fibers usually display poor interfacial adhesion when reinforced in hydrophobic polymer matrices. Hydrophilic nature of natural fibers becomes the most crucial issue in composites engineering. Surface modification of natural fibers has been found to be very effective in improving the fiber-matrix adhesion. In the present paper, we have reported the microwave assisted grafting of binary vinyl monomer mixtures on to ramie fibers (Boehmeria nivea) and bacterial cellulase assisted pre-treatment of ramie fibers using bacteria Brevibacillus parabrevis. The effects of these pretreatments on some properties of ramie fibers are discussed in the present paper. The modified fibers were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction, and TGA/DTA techniques to determine their morphology, crystallinity and thermal stability. Surface of ramie fiber becomes rough on grafting with synthetic polymers, whereas biologically modified ramie fibers showed the enhanced softness and smooth appearance due to the removal of gum materials and other impurities from the surface of fibers. Both the treatments have slightly changed the thermal stability and crystallinity of ramie fibers.
Ramie fibers, graft copolymers, cellulase, morphology, thermogravimetric analysis.