Green Composites. I. Physical Properties of Ramie Fibers for Environment-friendly Green Composites

  • Nam Sung-Hyun (Fiber Science Program, Cornell University) ;
  • Netravali Anil N. (Fiber Science Program, Cornell University)
  • Published : 2006.12.30


The surface topography, tensile properties, and thermal properties of ramie fibers were investigated as reinforcement for fully biodegradable and environmental-friendly 'green' composites. SEM micrographs of a longitudinal and cross sectional view of a single ramie fiber showed a fibrillar structure and rough surface with irregular cross-section, which is considered to provide good interfacial adhesion with polymer resin in composites. An average tensile strength, Young's modulus, and fracture strain of ramie fibers were measured to be 627 MPa, 31.8 GPa, and 2.7 %, respectively. The specific tensile properties of the ramie fiber calculated per unit density were found to be comparable to those of E-glass fibers. Ramie fibers exhibited good thermal stability after aging up to $160^{\circ}C$ with no decrease in tensile strength or Young's modulus. However, at temperatures higher than $160^{\circ}C$ the tensile strength decreased significantly and its fracture behavior was also affected. The moisture content of the ramie fiber was 9.9 %. These properties make ramie fibers suitable as reinforcement for 'green' composites. Also, the green composites can be fabricated at temperatures up to $160^{\circ}C$ without reducing the fiber properties.



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