Natural fiber reinforced plastics (NFRP) are attractive due to their mechanical and ecological properties density, sustainable, cost-effective). They deliver high potential for lightweight construction and create resource independency from fossil raw materials. In order to create high-performance NFRP, the properties of the natural fibers are key. Using various analytical methods at IVW, these properties are examined in detail both individually and in combination. In addition to the mechanical properties, special attention is paid to the thermal stability and the natural structure with a focus on the fiber surfaces (surface energy and topography). Due to the heterogeneity and hydrophilicity of natural fibers, it is particularly important to know these properties in detail in order to draw conclusions regarding their suitability with possible matrix systems and thus sustain their technical function in high-performance applications. Thermal and chemical treatment methods can be used to modify the chemical composition and surface properties for better adhesion to matrix systems.
By characterizing the modified surface properties, the thermal and mechanical properties of the fiber as well as of the composite, structure-property relationships can be determined and suitable matrix systems can be selected based on these.