Influence of furfuryl alcohol fiber pre-treatment on the moisture absorption and mechanical properties of flax fiber composites
Poor moisture resistance of natural fiber reinforced bio-composites is a major concern in structural applications. Many efforts have been devoted to alleviate degradation of bio-composites caused by moisture absorption. Among them, fiber pre-treatment has been proven to be effective. This paper proposes an alternative “green” fiber pretreatment with furfuryl alcohol. Pre-treatments with different parameters were performed and the influence on the mechanical properties of fiber bundles and composites was investigated. Moisture resistance of composites was evaluated by water absorption tests. Mechanical properties of composites with different water contents were analyzed in tensile tests. The results show that furfuryl alcohol pretreatment is a promising method to improve moisture resistance and mechanical properties (e.g., Young’s modulus increases up to 18%) of flax fiber composites.