Cellulose fibre reinforced composites are considered suitable alternative to plastic products due to the environmental problems caused by the latter. However, pure cellulose fibres have a high hydrophilicity. Moreover, the polar character of these fibres causes their low compatibility with partially or totally hydrophobic polymer matrices.
Owing to the poor wettability and adsorbability towards polymers, the surface modification of the fibres surface is essential, in order to improve the fiber/polymer compatibility and their interfacial adhesion. Hence researchers from France conducted a study to improve the properties of cellulose fibres by modifying the cellulose fibres with trialkoxysilane from castor oil.
Characteristic studies were carried out for the modified cellulose-castor oil polyurethane composites. Results showed that compared with the crude cellulose fibres, the organosilane treatment reduced the hydrophilicity of the natural fibres and increased the fiber/matrix compatibility.