IMPROVING PERFORMANCE AND APPLICABILITY OF GREEN COMPOSITE MATERIALS BY HYBRIDIZATION
A growing concern over environmental issues and the common interest to find a viable alternative to the use of glass or carbon composite reinforcements has led to an increased attention in ecologically sustainable polymer composites. These „green” materials are made by natural fibers, as reinforcement, filled with natural-organic fillers, i.e. derived from renewable or biodegradable sources. At the same time, this relatively new class of materials faces several limits in comparison to traditional composites especially regarding the properties of resistance. This paper investigates the advantages of use of combination of natural fibers for improving mechanical proprieties of „green” composite materials. At the moment, the prevailing opinion is that green composites are not usable in structural applications, and, as a consequence, have to be relegated to unworthy applications (as fillers). On the contrary, there are several evidences that mixing different natural fibers (in practice usually called „hybridization”) leads to an improvement of these material properties. Although usually quite limited in terms of percentage, these improvements from time to time allow a new enlargement in the fields of applications for green composites. Following a large state-of-the-art on green composites, including potential benefits and limits of these materials, the paper proposes several examples of hybridization showing its effect on mechanical proprieties.
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