Thermal degradation behaviour of natural fibres at thermoplastic composite processing temperatures

James L. Thomason, Jose L. Rudeiros Fernández

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Natural fibres have been identified as a potential substitute for mineral fillers in thermoplastic matrix composites for automotive applications. However, natural fibres are known to be susceptible to thermal degradation at relatively low temperatures. This paper focuses on the characterisation of the thermal and mechanical degradation of date palm and coir fibres as part of an evaluation of their potential as a reinforcement for polypropylene composites. The thermal degradation of the fibres and the resultant volatiles produced have been analysed for a range of typical polypropylene processing temperatures. The effect of the thermal degradation of the fibres on their mechanical performance has also been evaluated using single fibre tensile testing. The results indicate that processing temperatures should be minimised as much as possible and certainly kept below 200 °C.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109594
Number of pages10
JournalPolymer Degradation and Stability
Early online date18 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021


  • composites
  • natural fibres
  • degradation
  • thermal analysis
  • fibre systems


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