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High performance graphene-based natural fiber composites

Coating of graphene oxide and graphene flakes on jute fiber can revolutionize in the production of high-performance natural composite fiber.

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Owing to worldwide environmental sustainability and environmental issues, natural fiber-based composites have given importance in high-performance manufacturing industries. Jute, the second highest natural fiber on the amount of consumption after cotton that is specially grown in Indian subcontinent areas. Researchers are trying modification their surfaces to enhance its mechanical and other properties. Actually, lignin, one of the components of jute fiber composition is the main hazard in the field of modification of jute in a strategic way to enhance its properties.

High performance graphene-based natural fiber composites
Figure: The coating of graphene materials onto jute fibers enhanced interfacial shear strength by ∼236% and tensile strength by ∼96%. Courtesy: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

Automobile industries are given their importance in jute fiber due to its cheap cost in the context of specific gravity and specific modus to replace glass fiber by jute fiber. If researchers are successful to replace the glass fiber by means of coating technology onto the jute fiber, it will create a huge impact in this respective industry. Manufactures will be avoiding the synthetic composite high- performance fiber for their production. Moreover, it will create a milestone in the field of sustainability.

Researchers show that the coating of graphene materials onto jute fibers enhanced interfacial shear strength by ∼236% and tensile strength by ∼96% more than untreated fibers by forming either bonding (GO) or mechanical interlocking (G) between fibers and graphene-based flakes. This could lead to manufacturing of high-performance and environment anal friendly natural fiber composites.

Grafting of graphene oxides and graphene flakes onto jute fibers to produce high-performance graphene-based natural fiber composites. The graphene material-coated jute fibers thus produced exhibit significant increase in the tensile and interfacial properties and comparable specific properties to those of glass fibers. Researchers believe that our graphene-based high-performance-natural fiber composite is an important step toward replacing synthetic composites for some real-world applications.

This finding is published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces– the international forum for applied materials science and engineering. This research is conducted by Forkan Sarker, Nazmul Karim, Shaila Afroj, Vivek Koncherry, Kostya S. Novoselov, and Prasad Potluri.

Authors kindly acknowledge Commonwealth Scholarship Council, U.K. and the Government of Bangladesh for the Ph.D. funding of Forkan Sarker and Shaila Afroj, respectively. This work was supported by EU Graphene Flagship Program, European Research Council Synergy Grant Hetero 2D, the Royal Society, and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, U.K. (Grant Number: EP/N010345/1, 2015)

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