Natural Fibre Reinforced Composites: A Concise Review

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Natural Fibre Reinforced Composites: A Concise Review

Natural Fibre Reinforced Composites: A Concise Review

Partha Pratim Das

Pursing Bachelor of Technology (Mechanical Engineering): 2nd Year

Amity School of Engineering and Technology Amity University, Noida, Pin: 201313

Abstract: Accessibility of Natural fibre, minimal effort and simplicity of assembling have asked the consideration of scientists towards the likelihood of fortification of characteristic fibre to enhance their mechanical properties and concentrate the degree to which they fulfil the required determinations of good fortified polymer composite for modern what's more, auxiliary applications. The artificially treated Natural fibre demonstrates preferable change in properties over untreated filaments. The artificially treated normal fibre has enhanced interfacial attachment between fibre surface and polymer lattice. Natural fibre fortifications have demonstrated better outcomes in affect durability and weakness quality. This survey goes for clarifying about the innovative work in the change in properties of Natural fibre reinforced strengthened polymer composites, their classification alongside with its future outlook.

Keywords: Natural Fibre, reinforced, Composites, interfacial


    Fibre Reinforced Composites has been using by different people since ancient times. Due to the disadvantages of normal synthetic fibres, FRCs i.e. fibre Reinforced Composites comes into account and hence many young scientists get motivated for further research work in the field of NFRCs (Natural fibre reinforced Composites). Now a day, we are using variety of natural fibres as reinforcement [1] in composites. Due to advancement in the field of science and technology, new techniques has been developed to characterised the mechanical properties of different composites and utilising those composites for further use. Some of the common natural fibres include Jute, sisal, banana, rice husk, elephant grass; etc. has been taken for the study of the mechanical [2] properties. The most important advantage of natural fibres is that they are renewable. This review examines the different types of fibre available and the present status of research on natural fibre reinforced composites. Different references of latest work on NFRCs, their mechanical properties and their processing have been included in this review paper.

    Composites are those materials which comprises of strong material which can sustain very large load which is known as Reinforcement, imposed in weak material which we called as matrix. In simple word, we can say that a matrix is a base on which a strong material is imposed on it. Matrix plays an important role in maintaining the position and orientation of the reinforcement. In this review

    paper, basically the concepts related to natural fibres reinforced Composites has been discussed. Natural fibre [3] has been divided into animal fibres and plant cellulose fibres. Further the plants which produce natural fibres are classified into primary and secondary fibres. In general, Composites with high mechanical strength and stiffness are developed from Plant fibres.


    Basically, this paper is completely theoretical. I have collected the material of the research paper from internet websites like Wikipedia,, Research Gate Science direct, etc. Some books on Material Science Also, I read some material from research papers on Natural fibre Reinforced Composites previously done by several Researchers. The methods which I have done in my term papers are completely giving the overview of topic, about its present and future scope, its advantages and finally finding the conclusions related to NFRCs. By doing so, it helps me to gain a lot of knowledge regarding the behaviour of NFRCs.


    Composites can be classified on the nature of the matrix. Fabrication process is also done in accordance with the physical and chemical properties of the matrix and the reinforcing fibres.

    1. Polymer Matrix Composites:

      PMCs are most common composites now a day. These types of composites consist of a thermoplastic polymer. They are low in cost, have high strength and can be manufactured through simple process.

    2. Metal Matric Composites:

      The name itself conveys that is consists of a metal matric. Some of the metal matrix is magnesium, aluminium and titanium. By using this type of composites, elastic stiffness and strength of material can be increased.

    3. Ceramics Matric Composites:

    Ceramics can be described as solid materials which exhibit very strong ionic bonding in general and in few cases covalent bonding. High melting points, good corrosion resistance, stability at elevated temperatures and high compressive strength, render ceramic-based matrix materials a favourite for applications requiring a structural

    material that doesnt give way at temperatures above 1500ºC. Naturally, ceramic matrices are the obvious choice for high temperature applications.

    Some of the natural fibres include jute, sisal, banana etc. Thermosets are hard in nature and a cross linked material that doesnt get soften when heated.

    Further some other details regarding the natural fibre reinforced composites have been discussed below.

    Figure 01: Light weight composite military helmet [11]

    Figure 02: Composite Korean Bow [11]


    Natural fibres are divided into two main categories. They are:

    • Animal Fibres

    • Plant Fibres

      Further the plant fibres are classified into two types. They are:

    • Primary plant fibres i.e. from plant which are grown for fibres &

    • Secondary plant fibres i.e. from the waste product of plant

      Fundamentally, there are six kinds of plant strands named as; bast fibre [10] (flax, hemp kenaf, jute, and so on.), leaf fibre (sisal, banana), organic product fibre (cotton, coir), grass fibre (bamboo, Indian grass), straw fibre (corn, rice) and other like wood mash and roots.

      In co- relation with my first review paper, which includes the basic knowledge about what composite materials are, how they are formed, and their constituents materials. In my paper, different types of composites materials also have been discussed along with their importance and how they are implemented on natural fibre reinforced composites. Further; it insists me more to study more about NFRCs which have been discussed below.

      Some images of Natural Fibres

      Figure 3: Jute Plant

      Figure 04: Sisal Plant

      Figure 05: Coconut Fibre Figure 06: Flex

      Various properties of natural fibre reinforced composites especially mechanical properties have been discussed. Along with this, their manufacturing process has also been discussed in this review paper. This paper also includes the advantages of Natural Fibre Reinforced Composites over synthetic fibres.

      As we know that the application of composites has been increased due to the development of new fibres people are manufacturing different type of composites according to their needs. Out of all the composites natural fibre

      reinforced composites attains a great importance because it is more advantageous than synthetic fibre those which we are using in day to day life. After reading several research papers, I came to know about the benefits of NFRCs. A concise information regarding the advantages of NFRCs has been discuss below-

      The use of natural fibre reinforced composites attains agreat importance in both academic as well as industry sector. Now a day, different types of natural fibres have been found for the use in plastics which includes flax, jute straw, rice husk, sisal etc.

      Figure 07: Reinforcements [11]


    The focuses to be noted in choosing the fortifications incorporate similarity with framework material, warm soundness, thickness, liquefying temperature and so forth. The effectiveness of irregularly fortified composites is subject to rigidity and thickness of strengthening stages. The similarity, thickness, synthetic and warm soundness of the support with lattice material is critical for material creation and also end application. The warm strife strain between the grid and fortification is a critical parameter for composites utilized in warm cycling application. It is a component of distinction between the coefficients of warm development of the network and fortification. The assembling procedure chose and the fortification influences the precious stone structure.

    Additionally, the part of the fortification relies on its compose in auxiliary Composites. In particulate and hair fortified Composites, the lattice is the significant load bearing constituent. The part of the fortification is to reinforce and solidify the composite through avoidance of lattice disfigurement by mechanical restriction. This limitation is for the most part a component of the proportion of between molecule separating to molecule width. In persistent fibre strengthened Composites, the support is the main load- bearing constituent. The metallic grid serves to hold the fortifying filaments together and exchange and additionally appropriate the heap. Irregular fibre fortified Composites show attributes between those of nonstop fibre and particulate strengthened composites. Ordinarily, the expansion of support expands the quality, firmness and temperature capacity while decreasing the warm development coefficient of the subsequent metal matric composites. At the point when joined with a metallic network of higher thickness, the fortification likewise serves to decrease the thickness of the composite, in this way improving properties, for example, particular quality.


    The decision of a lattice composite for a MMC is managed by a few contemplations. Of specific significance is whether the composite is to be persistently or spasmodically fortified. The utilization of consistent strands as fortifications may result in exchange of a large portion of the heap to the fortifying fibres and consequently composite quality will be administered basically by the fibre quality. The essential parts of the network compound at that point are to give proficient exchange of load to the filaments and to limit splits if fibre disappointment happens thus the lattice amalgam for consistently fortified composites might be picked more for durability than for quality. On this premise, bring down quality, more flexible, and

    harder network amalgams might be used in ceaselessly fortified composites. For spasmodically fortified composites, the grid may oversee composite quality. At that point, the decision of lattice will be affected by thought of the required composite quality and higher quality grid amalgams might be required.

    Extra contemplations in the decision of the network incorporate potential support/grid responses, either amid handling or in benefit, which may result in debased composite execution; warm worries because of warm development crisscross between the fortifications and the lattice; and the impact of framework exhaustion conduct on the cyclic reaction of the composite. To be sure, the conduct of composites under cyclic stacking conditions is a region requiring exceptional thought. In composites planned for use at hoisted temperatures, an extra thought is the distinction in softening temperatures between the grid and the fortifications. A huge dissolving temperature contrast may result in network crawl while the fortifications stay flexible, even at temperatures moving toward the grid liquefying point. Be that as it may, sneak in both the grid and fortification must be considered when there is a little liquefying point contrast in the composite.


    The necessities or wanted properties of the framework which are imperative for a composite structure are as per the following:

    • Reduced dampness retention.

    • Low shrinkage.

    • Low coefficient of warm development.

    • Good stream qualities with the goal that it enters the fibre packages totally and wipes out voids amid the compacting/restoring process.

    • Reasonable quality, modulus and stretching (extension ought to be more noteworthy than fibre).

    • Must be versatile to exchange load to filaments.

    • Strength at lifted temperature (contingent upon application).

    • Low temperature capacity (contingent upon application).

    • Excellent compound obstruction (contingent upon application).

    • Should be effectively process able into the last composite shape.

    • Dimensional strength (keeps up its shape).


    In the recent years, the importance of natural fibre composites are increasing due to its better mechanical performance significantly. This improvement is basically due to improved fibre selection, better extraction process, as well as better composite

    processing. They have low density and high thermal insulation as they are extracted from nature. Along with this they are resistance to corrosion. Sanjay.R [4] studied on the mechanical properties of sisal and glass fibre reinforced composites to compare the properties like tensile strength, impact and flexural strength. They found that sisal being a natural fibre than glass fibre has more high tensile strength and high flexural strength. Singha A. [5] has done a scanning using electron microscope on a natural fibre called Hibiscus sabdariffa. They also concluded that the fibre as a good scope in the fabrication of natural fibre reinforced composites, having a large number of industrial applications.

    In a study regarding banana fibre by Santosh [6] used NaOH to increase the wettability of natural Fibre Reinforced composites. They concluded that when we treat a natural fibre with any alkali, they increase the wettability of the fibre and this helps to increase the mechanical properties like tensile strength, flexural strength etc.


    Due to increase in rapid consumption of fossil fuel and due to that problems like global warming and environmental issues are increasing day by day. This hazardous condition is affecting the normal life of the people. So, on the basis of this many researches has developed natural fibre reinforced composites and biodegradable polymer which will be less harmful to human being. The idea behind the development of natural fibre and biodegradable polymer is that they

    have high specific strength and eco-friendlier as well. But the problem with the natural fibre based composites is that, at high temperature, they are thermally less stable and due to which they are more flammable that synthetic fibres.

    In a study made by Skrifvars M and his team [7] on Thermo-mechanical properties of bio-based composites made from lactic acid thermoset resins and flax based fibre reinforcements. In this study they found that the thermal properties are much better than other fibre which helps to find a place in industrial applications.

    In another study, Srinivasan [8], during an experiment, found that the hybrid composite of banana with flax has better thermal stability and more flame resistance. During another study [9], when a fibre named Ramie was applied to thermal treatment and the conclusion made was that Ramie fibres has high absorption property and high thermal insulation.


    In order to get friendly environment, the entire automotive engineer has the responsibility to developed Eco car [9] which is eco- friendly. It will be a sustainable vehicle for the future which will be running on biofuels.

    The panels of the car will be of natural fibre composites in which biodegradable resins will be incorporated as the matrix material.

    Figure 08: NFRCs for automotive Part [9]


    Based on my study, I lead to the some of the advantages and disadvantages from several research papers of natural fibre strengthened polymer composite materials

    1. Advantages:

      • They are eco-accommodating, biodegradable, accessible in extensive sums, sustainable, modest and have low thickness when contrasted with manufactured filaments, for example, glass, aramid, carbon and steel fibres.

      • The disposal of NFRCs is much simpler as compared to SFRCs.

      • Natural fibre reinforced composites are used mostly in non-structural applications. And automotive part such as cars doors, bonnet etc are made with NFRCs.

    2. Disadvantages:

    • The major drawback of NFRC is that, they have high moisture absorbing property due which they reduce the interfacial bonding between the matrix and the fibre which leads to several faults in their mechanical properties.

    • They have poor wettability.

      Plant fibres can't be utilized straightforwardly in its characteristic shape. It requires synthetic change (Chemical change) to evacuate the waxy layer to improve the interfacial bond amongst fibres and polymer matrix so as to improve the mechanical properties of NFRCs.


    Prerequisites representing the selection of materials apply to the two metals and fortified plastics. It is, along these lines, basic to quickly analyse principle attributes of the two.

    • Composites offer huge weight sparing over existing metals. Composites can give structures that are 25-45% lighter than the traditional aluminum structures intended to meet the same practical prerequisites. This is because of the lower thickness of the composites.

      Contingent upon material frame, composite densities go from 1260 to 1820 kg/in3 (0.045 to 0.065 lb/in3) [12] when contrasted with 2800 kg/in3 (0.10 lb/in3) for aluminum. A few applications may require thicker composite areas to meet quality/solidness prerequisites, in any case, weight funds will in any case result.

    • Unidirectional fibre composites [13] have particular rigidity (proportion of material quality to thickness) around 4 to 6 times more noteworthy than that of steel and aluminum.

    • Unidirectional composites have particular – modulus (proportion of the material solidness to thickness) around 3 to 5 times more noteworthy than that of steel and aluminum.

    • Fatigue continuance breaking point of composites may approach 60% of their definitive elasticity. For steel and aluminum, this esteem is significantly lower.

    • Fiber composites are more flexible [14] than metals, and can be custom fitted to address execution issues and complex plan necessities, for example, air versatile stacking on the wings and the vertical and the flat stabilizers of air ship.

    • Fiber fortified composites can be planned with brilliant auxiliary damping highlights. Accordingly, they are less uproarious and give bring down vibration transmission than metals.

    • High consumption obstruction of fibre composites adds to diminish life-cycle cost.

    • Composites offer lower producing cost basically by decreasing altogether the quantity of itemized parts and costly specialized joints required to shape huge metal

      auxiliary segments. As it were, composite parts can wipe out joints/clasp along these lines giving parts rearrangements and incorporated outline.

    • Long term benefit understanding of composite material condition and solidness conduct is constrained in examination with metals.


    During the study period, I have found many gathered many conclusions regarding NFRCs. A theoretical study has been done by me on the Natural Fibre Reinforced Composites. The conclusion from both the papers has been discussed below.

    Some of the following important conclusions of the study are as follows:

    • Natural Fibres plays an important role in todays world.

    • Varieties of Natural Fibre Reinforced Composites are developed by Scientist.

    • Easily available than other fibres.

    • It is low in cost and east to develop.

    • Natural Fibres are renewable and can also be recyclable.

    Till now many innovations have been done on alternate materials and promoting the natural resources such as plant fibre [10] as reinforcing matrix material. Many fibres like sisal, jute, banana fibres etc. have excellent specific strength and low density. As we know that natural fibres are biodegradable, hence there will be safe disposal of these fibres and their bad effect to the environment. Natural fibre reinforced materials possess some good mechanical property such as low density, better thermal insulation etc. Along with this, they also have some inherent property such as better dampening and acoustic property because of their porous structure which helps them to gain a large impact on musical instruments. If we use those natural resources in a proper way and in proper selection, we will be able to reduce the use of fossil fuels and promoting those natural fibres and resources in many applications.


[1] Rohan, T.,Tushar B., and Mahesh G T. 2018. A Review of Natural Fibre Composites.Department of Aero engg.MIT- Manipal University, Karnataka, India.

[2] AshishChauhan, PriyankaChauhan and BalbirKaith .2012. Natural Fibre Reinforced Composites: A Concise Review article Dept. of chemistry, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar National institute of technology, Jalandhar.

[3] Saira Taj, Munawar Ali, and Shafiuallah Khan. 2007: Natural Fibre- Reinforced Polymer Composites: Applied Chemistry Research Centre, PCSIR lab, Lahore, Pakistan.

[4] R Sanjay, R Arpitha, G Vasundhara and B Yogesha : Study on Mechanical Characteristics of Unidirectional, Sisal/Glass Fibres Reinforced Polyester Hybrid Composites 2012 ISSN (Online): 2319-7064.

[5] Singha A, Thakur Vijay Kumar: Mechanical properties of natural fibre reinforced polymer composites 2008 Indian academy of sciences Bull. Material. Sci. Vol. 31, No. 5 pp 791 799.

[6] J Santhosh, Balanarasimman, R Chandrasekar, S Raja: Study of properties of banana fibre reinforced composites

:IJRET: International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology eISSN: 2319-1163.

[7] Bakare, F O, Ramamoorthy, S K, Akesson, D, Skrifvars M: Thermomechanical properties of bio-based compositesmade from a lactic acid thermoset resin and flax and flax/basalt fibre reinforcements 2015 Composites: Part A doi:

[8] V S Srinivasan, S RajendraBoopathy, D Sangeetha, B VijayaRamnath :Evaluation of Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Banana-Flax based Natural Fibre composite 2014

[9] Jian-Min Yuan, Yan-RongFeng, Li-Ping: He Effect of thermal treatment on properties of ramie fibers2016 10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2016.09.012

[10] K.P. Ashik, Ramesh S. Sharma. A Review on Mechanical Properties of Natural Fibre Reinforced Hybrid Polymer Composites, Journal of Minerals and Materials Characterization and Engineering, 2015, 3, 420-426.

[11] J. Sahariand S.M. Sapuan, Natural fibre reinforced biodegradable polymer composites, 166/Rev. Adv. Mater. Sci. 30 (2011) 166-174.

[12] D. Chandramohan, K. Marimuthu. Drilling of natural fibre particle reinforced polymer composite material. International Journal of Advanced Enginering Research and Studies E- ISSN2249 8974.

[13] T. Sonar, S. Patil, V. Deshmukh, R. Acharya. Natural Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composite Material-A Review- IOSR Journal of Mechanical and Civil Engineering (IOSR-JMCE) e- ISSN: 2278-1684.

[14] Faruk, Omar, Andrzej K. Bledzki, Hans-Peter Fink, and Mohini Sain. Bio composites Reinforced with Natural Fibres: 20002010. Progress in Polymer Science (0). doi:10.1016/j.progpolymsci.2012.04.003.

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