Journal of Materials Research and Technology Journal of Materials Research and Technology
J Mater Res Technol 2013;2:149-57 DOI: 10.1016/j.jmrt.2013.02.003
Original article
The effect of fiber morphology on the tensile strength of natural fibers
Maria Ernestina Alves Fidelisa, Thatiana Vitorino Castro Pereiraa, Otávio da Fonseca Martins Gomesb,c, Flávio de Andrade Silvaa,, , , Romildo Dias Toledo Filhoa
a Civil Engineering Department, Instituto Alberto Luiz Coimbra de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa de Engenharia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (COPPE/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
b Centre for Mineral Technology (CETEM), Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
c Génie Minéral, Matériaux et Environnement (GeMMe), University of Liège, Liège, Belgium
Received 29 November 2012, Accepted 01 February 2013

In the present work the morphology of natural fibers was correlated with their mechanical properties via image analysis. Jute, sisal, curaua, coir and piassava fibers were tested under direct tension in a universal testing machine and the cross-sectional areas of the fibers were calculated using images obtained in a scanning electron microscopy. For the jute fiber the tests were performed for several gage lengths in order to investigate its influence on the tensile strength and to compute the machine compliance. For sisal, jute and curaua fibers the amount of fiber-cells, the size of the cell walls and the real area of the fibers were measured and their correlation with the tensile strength addressed. The curaua fiber presented the highest mechanical performance with tensile strength and Young's modulus of 543MPa and 63.7GPa, respectively. Weibull statistical analysis was used to quantify the variability of fiber strength. The sisal fibers presented the highest Weibull modulus (3.70), whereas the curaua presented the lowest one (m=2.2), which means that the sisal had the lowest variability and curaua the highest.

Natural fibers, Mechanical properties, Morphology, Statistical analysis, Scanning electron microscopy
J Mater Res Technol 2013;2:149-57 DOI: 10.1016/j.jmrt.2013.02.003