Open access peer-reviewed chapter

Sisal Fibre Based Polymeric Composites

Written By

Archana Nigrawal, Arun Kumar Sharma and Fozia Zia Haque

Submitted: 20 September 2021 Reviewed: 07 October 2021 Published: 10 December 2021

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.101107

From the Edited Volume

Fiber-Reinforced Plastics

Edited by Martin Alberto Masuelli

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Nature origin fibres have drawn in extraordinary consideration from commercial and specialists for the use of polymer composites as a result of their ‘greener’ nature and commitment to maintainable practice. Different enterprises have moved towards reasonable innovation to work on the harmony between the climate and social and financial concerns. Innovative work has demonstrated that normal fibres have been effectively applied as fortifications in the composites business, for example, for transportation, inside segments, building, airplane.


  • natural fibres
  • sisal fibres
  • polymers
  • composites
  • reinforcements

1. Introduction

Sisal can be simply cultured in a little cultivated area time. The plant grows in nature in the hedges of fields and railway tracks. Research has showed that approximately 4.5 million tons for every year sisal fibres are extricated all through the planet. Sisal fibre is taken out from trees of the sisal plant (named: Agave sisalana), which is currently planted in tropical parts of the Africa and some other regions of Far East. Usually, sisal plant contains nearly 250 sisal leaves and each leaf is having approximately 1000 to 1200 fibre bundle. On an average, a sisal plant has 4% fibre, 0.75% cuticle, 8% dry substance and 87.25% water. In general, sisal fibre is taken by soaking and by scrapping and using other mechanical resources [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Higher quantities of supplies and ecological system these days include rise in the claim of industry to use green composite resources. It has also turned out to be the major dynamic compel of current research on the progress of eco-friendly and sustainable natural fibre-toughened polymer composites as an alternative of the synthetic one. An established fact is that that synthetic fibres-reinforced polymer by now has exceptional property and uses. Likewise, glass fibre-based polymeric composites were known for its outstanding properties, which were used in railway track sleepers [1]. Phenol-based glass fibre polymeric composites have high-class fire-resistant property to convene the fire necessity of construction resources [2]. Although from eco-friendly aspect, reinforcement using natural fibres might be a better option as they can be taken out from plant life, birds and farming wastes. From many past years, agriculture-based waste fibres encompass the preferred choice of researchers for its better utilization purposes. Exemplar of agro-waste fibres are palm oil, bagasse fibre, corn fibre, stalks, coir, bamboo, pineapple, banana and rice husk. These fibres are normally extracted from part of the plant such as stem, leaf, seed or even its fruit [3].

It is noteworthy that artificial fibres built up polymer as of now have exceptional properties and uses. It has been reported that glass fibre-supported polymeric composites are having brilliant characteristics and had the option for their use in sleepers of railroad track [1]. Phenol-based glass fibre polymeric composites have great fireproof properties to convene the fire necessity of structure resources [2]. Notwithstanding, the environment-accommodating perspective, support-utilizing normal fibres might be a superior decision as they can be obtained from plants, creatures and agribusiness squanders. Over the previous decade, agribusiness squander fibres have been the most loved options of analysts for its reasonable assets. For example, horticulture squander fibres are oil palm, bagasse, corn, coir, bamboo, pineapple, banana and rice husk. These fibres are ordinarily extricated from parts of the plant such as stem, leaf, seed or even its natural product [3].

Furthermore, natural fibre composites are being less expensive than manufactured composites, which are bio-degradable, richly accessible, sustainable and light in weight. Regular fibres start from three sources, in particular, plants, creatures and minerals. There are more than 2000 kinds of fibre plants on the planet, and these are generally made out of cellulose, for example kenaf, sugar palm, bamboo, corn, cotton, flax, feed (from grass cutting), hemp, henequen, jute, pineapple leaf, banana, ramie and sisal. The utilization of normal fibres in composites can likewise tackle some different issues, for example, moderate energy utilization during production, leaving basically no carbon impression and diminishing removal issues.

The new patterns in the advancement of the more up to date materials have driven in supplanting materials such as glass and carbon built-up composites with the normal fibres-supported composites, for instance in car inside, passer-by connect, transporting beds, composite rooftop tiles, furniture, toys and so on. Notwithstanding, the primary disadvantage of natural fibres as support is that they are incongruent with thermoplastics because of their hydrophilic nature, which brings about the poor interfacial connection between the fibres and grid. This resulted in the poor mechanical properties of the composites. Hence, the change of synthetic fibres is needed to make them less hydrophilic. Endeavours are made to brief about different substance medicines on regular fibres.

Sisal fibre can be essentially refined in a small developed region time. Sisal plant fills within nature inside the fences of fields and railroad track [6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15]. It is removed from the foliage of the sisal plant (known as A. sisalana); regularly, any sisal plant contain 200–250 sisal leaves through which each leave can have somewhere around 1000–1200 fibre pack.

Sisal fibre can be taken out from its leaf and can be categorized into three types: mechanical fibre, ribbon fibre and xylem fibre. First type known as mechanical fibres can be taken out from the edge of the leaf, which is similar to horseshoe and can be alienated by the removal process. The second type that is known as ribbon fibre is the greatest fibre and be capable of be tearing up longitudinally throughout its dispensation.

The third type known as xylem fibres are generally uneven in shape and split up easily throughout the dispensation. These fibres crop up in between vascular bundles in contrast to the ribbon fibres [16, 17, 18, 19].

In addition to this, the chemical structure of sisal fibre differs from one place to another be dependent on the source of accessibility, measuring techniques, age issue, etc.; similar to additional normal fibres, sisal fibre also contains cellulose, lignin, hemicelluloses and dampness. Sisal fibre contains cellulose 65–68%, hemicellulose 10–22%, lignin 9.9–14% and moisture content 10–22%.

Examination study announced that NFC successfully be utilized in cars, for example, inward motor covers, entryway boards, cap racks, bundle plate, sun visors, seat backs and outside/under floor framing [9], and they have been utilized in inside framing in aviation and airplane enterprises [6, 8, 9, 10, 20, 21].


2. Sisal fibre-toughened polymer composites

Along with the different natural fibre-based composites, sisal fibre-supported composite produces predominant effect potency with reasonable ductile and flexural property. It can be used in applications where high-effect strength is required. Presently, sisal fibre utilizes different types of polymers such as thermoset-, thermoplastic- and bio-degradable polymeric-based resources and their different properties have been reported in the literature.

Ramesh et al. [6] researched the mechanical properties of sisal, jute and glass fibre-supported polyester composites and seen that the expansion of glass fibre into jute fibre composite brought about greatest elasticity. Similarly, in the case of jute and sisal combination composites were having maximum flexural force and most extreme effect power was obtained from the sisal fibre composite. Properties of elasticity, flexural strength and compressive strength of epoxy-based sisal-glass-based composites are reported [8, 21] and sisal normal fibre composites are created amid and with no silica by joining fully biodegradable sisal fibres in addition to the polymer framework. The outcomes depicted that the elasticity and pliable modulus of composites with silica are 1.5 and 1.08 occasions more prominent than those of composites without silica individually. The sway strength of composite with sand is 1.36 and 1.8 occasions as compared to the composites without silica what’s more, pure polyester, individually. The effect of sisal fibre on the properties of the polymers has been reviewed [9].

Utilizations of sisal fibre and plant fibres show huge commitment in vehicle applications because of its qualities, for example high solidness with light weight per unit region, simple to reuse, 30–40% lighter than glass fibre, decreased fuel utilization, minimal expense, no wear of panels or any part of tiles.


3. Sisal fibre-based polymer composites and their applications

Tooling has no well-being danger, great warm and acoustic protecting properties and so forth. Real modern interest for normal fibres has expanded distinctly in the course of recent years. In 2005, the first run through normal fibres (without wood and cotton) was utilized in car composites [6]. Regular fibre composite materials are being utilized for making a huge number in the car area [21]. Sisal and jute fibres have been utilized in the German auto industry for quite a long time [8]. Mercedes first utilized jute-based entryway boards in quite a while E-Class vehicles in 1996.

As of late, there has been expanding interest in the substitution of glass fibres in built-up plastic composites by normal plant fibres such as flax, hemp and sisal parts [9]. Like glass, the normal fibres consolidate promptly with a thermoplastic or thermosetting grid to deliver item merchandise [10]. The car business requires composite materials to meet execution not really set in stone in a wide scope of tests. Common place market detail incorporates extreme breaking power and stretching, flexural properties, sway strength, hazing qualities, combustibility, acoustic assimilation, appropriateness for preparing: temperature and abide time, scent, water ingestion, dimensional steadiness and crash conduct [11, 12, 13, 14, 22]. Plant fibres are as of now just utilized in the inside of traveller vehicles and truck lodges. Other than their utilization in trim parts, for example entryway boards or lodge linings, plant fibres are utilized broadly for thermo-acoustic protection. Such protecting materials, basically dependent on cotton fibres reused from materials, have moderately high fibre content of over 80% by weight. Trim parts in Brazilian trucks, made of a combination of jute, espresso pack squanders and polypropylene sacks, show that reusing some of the time can prompt progressed applications. Another grounded field of use is the utilization of coconut fibres fortified with regular latex for seat pads. For this application, the capacity of plant fibres to ingest a lot of mugginess prompts an expanded solace that cannot be reached with manufactured materials. Beside this sort of improvements, essentially new applications have not been acknowledged as of late.

Normal fibre composites with thermoplastic and thermoset lattices have been embraced by European vehicle producers and providers for entryway boards, seat backs, main events, bundle plate, dashboards and numerous inside parts. Other natural fibres such as kenaf, hemp, flax, jute and sisal offer such advantages as decrease in weight, cost and CO2, less reliance on unfamiliar oil sources and recyclability. Glass fibre built-up plastics has demonstrated to meet the underlying and solidness requests of car inside and outside parts. Be that as it may, it displays deficiencies, for example it is somewhat high fibre thickness (40% higher than natural fibres), trouble to machine, helpless reusing property and potential well-being danger. An environmental advancement of normal fibre mat when contrasted with glass fibre mat offers another forthcoming utilization of regular fibre support. Flax, sisal and hemp are prepared into entryway cladding, seatback linings, floor boards and different other car parts [11]. The utilization of plant fibre (sisal/flax/hemp and so forth)-based vehicle parts such as trim parts, different boards, retires and brake shoes are drawing in auto businesses overall on account of its decrease in weight of about 20%, energy creation of 90% and cost of the segments of 15%. Moderate assessments demonstrate that around 7000 TPA plant fibre-based materials can discover their direction keen on traveller vehicles and multi-utility vehicles [9]. Sisal is utilized in entryway cladding, seatback lining and for bundle racks (the gap at the back seats of vehicles).


4. Prospects for use of sisal fibre in automotive manufacturing

Sisal fibres can be utilized in Door boards, Lodge linings; Brake liners; thermo acoustic protection, trim parts, seat pads and back etc. The potential partners for the utility of sisal fibre in auto-segment industry are as follows: Mercedes Benz, Freightliner, Daimler Chrysler, Chevrolet, and General Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra, Tata Motors and Hero Honda and so on. The money-saving advantage investigation, techno-business attainability and the difficulties for sisal fibre double-dealing for different designing applications are as per the following: sisal is xerophytes and fills in badlands, which moderates soil and procures carbon credits. Assured maintainable fibre creation is 2.5 ton/ha for 6–8 years. Surface medicines empower sisal fibres to be utilized as support in a polymer lattice and it has advantageous over mineral and other ordinary regular fibres [10, 11, 12].


5. Sisal fibre-based polymer composites and their applications

5.1 Electrical application of sisal fibre

In request to use sisal fibre for electrical applications, a few analysts have considered distinctive electrical properties of sisal fibre at various temperatures and frequencies. Expanding the plant age moves the dissemination factor (tan d) top to higher temperature. Further, the wonders were clarified based on primary charges. Water consumed by sisal fibres has OH anions that go about as dipoles. Other than OH anions, there are a few pollutants and particles on the fibres. At high frequencies, the commitment of polarization of assimilated water particles and space charge diminishes and electronic and nuclear polarization becomes employable. Expansion in temperature influences the portability of particles and subsequently changes the ionic commitments [13, 14]. The electrical properties of sisal fibre built-up LDPE have been concentrated as for the impacts of recurrence, fibre content and fibre length. The dielectric constant increases consistently with expanding fibre concentration for all frequencies in reaching 1–107 Hz. Similarly it is noted that dielectric consistent declines on an increment in fibre length and recurrence. Greatest dielectric consistent qualities are obtained at low frequencies. Sisal/LDPE composites of 1 mm fibre length and 30% fibre concentration contain the most noteworthy upsides of dielectric constants at all frequencies. The upsides of volume receptiveness decline on an increment of recurrence and fibre concentration; that is, the electric conductivity of composites is more prominent than slick LDPE. When contrasted with glass/LDPE composites, similar pattern in electrical properties is noticed; however, the charges of dielectric constants of the last composites on recurrence and fibre concentration are more modest because of their lower interfacial polarization [2, 3, 4, 22].

5.2 Application of sisal fibre in railways

Composite materials offer some huge benefits to metals in numerous underlying applications in rail lines such that they are lightweight, practical, consumption safe, energy-lessening underway, and stuff and fire retardant. Composite materials can be utilized in rail routes, the stuff case, primary entryways, gear racks etc.

5.3 Prospects for the use of sisal fibre in construction industries

The addition of fibre strengthening in building materials can improve a lot of the manufacturing properties of the essential resources, such as fracture toughness, flexural strength and resistance to fatigue, impact and thermal shock. In few years, a huge deal of attention has been made all over the worlds on the possible application of natural fibre-based materials and on other construction materials. Research have been done in various nations on different properties such as mechanical physical properties, and toughness of concrete-based matrix toughened with natural fibres such as sisal, coconut, jute, bamboo and wood fibres. Natural fibres are good choice for strengthening of concrete-based materials due to their easy access, less prices as compared with synthetic fibres and less utilization of energy. In this chapter, an effort is made to describe the properties of the natural fibre-based composites [2, 3, 4, 22].


6. Conclusion

The inclusion of sisal fibre strengthening in existing technologies can improve a lot of the manufacturing properties of the basic material, such as fracture toughness, flexural strength and resistance to fatigue, impact, thermal shock and spalling.



The financial support to Dr. Archana Nigrawal by the DST (DST/WOS-B/AFE-5/2021) project is gratefully acknowledged.


Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Written By

Archana Nigrawal, Arun Kumar Sharma and Fozia Zia Haque

Submitted: 20 September 2021 Reviewed: 07 October 2021 Published: 10 December 2021