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A review of current development in natural fiber composites for structural and infrastructure applications

Abstract

Natural fiber composites (NFC) as the name implies is made of natural resources thus possesses environmentally beneficial properties such as biodegradability. With its natural characteristics, NFC is obtaining more attention in recent years in various application including automotive, merchandise, structural and infrastructure. Several studies have shown that NFC can be developed into a load-bearing structural member for applications in structural and infrastructure application. As an engineered material, similar with synthetic fiber composites, the properties of NFC can be tailored to meet certain requirements. The challenge in working with NFC is the large variation in properties and characteristics. The properties of NFC to a large extent influenced by the type of fibers, environmental condition where the plant fibers are sourced and the type of fiber treatments. However, with their unique and wide range of variability, natural fiber composites could emerge as a new alternative engineering material which can substitute the use of synthetic fiber composites

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