Roselle fiber is a type of natural fiber. It can be utilized as a potential reinforcement filler in polymer composites for different applications. It is a bast fiber that has great economical importance.
Properties of Roselle Fiber
This work investigates the chemical, physical, mechanical, morphological, and thermal characteristics of Roselle fiber at different levels of maturity (3, 6, and 9 months).
The diameter of this fiber increases as the plant matures. However, in contrast to this, the moisture content and water absorption of Roselle decrease as the plant matures. The chemical content of roselle fibers from plants of different ages indicates that as the plant matures, the cellulose content decreases.
The tensile strength of the roselle decreases from 3 months old to 9 months old. The cross-section of the roselle shows a typical morphology of bast fiber, where there is a lumen in the center of the fiber.
Thermal analysis results show that the effect of thermal decomposition of roselle fiber is almost the same for all plant ages.
It is concluded that roselle can be used as a reinforced material for the manufacturing of polymer composites.
Based on its excellent properties, roselle fibers are suitable for different applications such as automotive and building components at a lower cost.
Future of Roselle Fiber
Over the past two decades, it has been established that composite materials are the leading emerging materials.
The natural fibers present a number of advantages over traditional synthetic fibers because of their better corrosion resistance, excellent thermo-mechanical properties, and high strength to weight ratio.
Also, the composite materials play an important role in maintaining the eco-friendly design requirements.
Among this, polymer matrix composite is one of the recent developing sectors on the composite field, because it has high strength with less density as compared to the metal matrix composite.
Roselle Fiber – Future of Textile Fiber
Depending on the applications, the properties of the polymer reinforced composite are improved by modifying compositions, the process of fabrication and direction of the fiber, etc. In this analysis, the Roselle Fiber (Hibiscus Sabdariffa) is reinforced with polymer composite by wt. % in the mode of compression molding.
The mechanical properties of the above-fabricated material were analyzed by ASTM Standards and also the characterization of polymer composites was analyzed using SEM.
The compressive strength and the hardness value were high as compared to other strength properties; hence it is more suitable for compressive and structural applications.
The results concluded that the treated fiber with chemicals reveals better compatibility with the polymer matrix than that of untreated fiber.