Jute, a natural fiber, is important in developing composite materials that have shown promise in domestic, automotive, and medical industries among others.
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Jute plants thrive best in grassy soil with 125-150 mm of rainfall each month, mild to moderate temperatures (20-40°C), and high relative humidity (70-80%). Jute is a bast fiber that is grown in plantations and harvested as the plant develops. The plants are then frequently retted in slow running water to allow the fibers to be removed easily.
Why is the Treatment of Jute Fibers Necessary?
As per the latest research published in the journal Polymers, Jute, as a natural fiber, has various flaws including being readily decayed, combustible, thermally degradable, and having a high susceptibility to moisture, making it impractical for use in goods in its raw state. As a result, it requires further alteration for use in the manufacturing of sustainable products.
Use of Jute as a Construction Material
The application of jute fiber as the reinforcement material in polymeric matrix composites has led to a whole new world of possibilities for construction material applications.
Jute composite materials can be an exceptionally cost-effective resource for the construction industry, specifically for the manufacturing of compartment and unfounded ceiling panels, window and door frames, mobile or pre-fabricated buildings that can be used during natural disasters such as hurricanes, seismic activity, floods, and so on.
Household Applications of Jute Fibers
Jute is also utilized in home furnishings such as armchairs, decorative items, roofing, bags, tables, and bath units. Jute may be used as a wood replacement on the inside of a structure. Jute-FRP (fiber reinforced polymer) skin doors have the potential to be used in individual homes, workplaces, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and research labs, among other places.
Water resistance, flame retardancy, chemical resistance, versatility, and other unique properties distinguish FRP-PUF sandwich composite gates from those built from typical monolithic materials. An expense and weight comparison of FRP gates to traditional wooden doors found that substituting typical wooden doors with FRP doors might yield cost and weight reductions of 40% and 60%, respectively, as per the research published in the journal GSC Advanced Research and Reviews.
Uses in the Automotive Industry
Natural fiber (jute) composites are extensively employed in a variety of automotive applications such as molded door panels, insulating layers, headliners, carpeting, door pads, and so on. Because of its diverse qualities such as lighter weight, strength-to-weight ratio, cheap cost, the convenience of structural construction, and high strength, form, weight, rigidity, resilience, and elasticity, hybrid jute composite materials are employed in a wide range of automotive applications.
Companies may want to use a jute fiber composite mat for items that need the qualities of wood but have a form that cannot be manufactured with regular wood material. These organic fiber composite applications are growing in favor of a more sustainable alternative to pricey synthetic fibers.
Applications in 3D Printing
Additive manufacturing has found uses in making objects with complicated forms without the requirement for assembly, albeit limited in terms of material selection and delivery performance. Jute fiber may be used to create a composite filament that can be used to print jute-based items.
Nanofiber/cellulose or reactivated carbon derived from jute fiber may be incorporated into 3D printer filaments for uses such as superstructures in aerospace, industrial packing, and diagnostic implants. Jute fiber coated with an antibiotic chemical can be enclosed in polymers to provide a long-lasting antibacterial effect. As a result, jute fiber-based 3D printed goods may open up entirely new research avenues.
Are Jute Fibers Applicable in the Aerospace Sector?
The aerospace industry is another key use for hybridized jute composites. Composite material is typically employed for up to 70% of an aircraft's construction. Green nanocomposites are particularly amazing and ideal materials in the aerospace industry because of their biocompatibility, greater strength and stiffness-to-density ratio, compact size, high dependability, endurance, cheap cost, and outstanding physical qualities.
Natural fiber sandwich composites are often made as thermoset composites, similar to how epoxy resin is used in the aerospace industry. Composites aid in lowering fuel consumption and improving airplane performance. Because airplane constructions are subjected to tremendous pressures, the composites used in them must have optimum creep resistance and strength.
Natural Jute Fiber in Marine Vehicles
Jute, as a single or hybrid fiber, has shown promise as a reinforcing material for ecologically viable and environment-friendly applications. Layered fiber-reinforced jute composites are now extensively utilized in the marine industry. Composite materials are widespread in the fabrication of luxury yachts and racing yachts, as well as high-speed sailing, maritime and rescue teams' patrol craft, fishery and work boats, and the offshore oil and gas industry. This is because composite materials provide several advantages over steel, aluminum, or wood.
Jute fiber reinforced composites are of special interest since they have excellent impact strength and modest compressive and flexural capabilities in contrast to other lignocellulosic fibers used in ship design.
Jute Fiber-Based Energy Autonomous Systems
Researchers have published an article in the journal Advanced Sustainable Systems focusing on a self-governed energy system based on jute fiber-based supercapacitors (SC) and sensors.
SCs made of jute fiber have a capacitance of 17 mF cm1 at 1 mV s1. According to the study, the SC's energy and power densities were 0.712 Wh cm-1 and 3.85 µW cm−1, respectively, at a capacitance of 8.65 mF cm1 and an applied current of 0.1 mA. According to the lengthy charging-discharging research (5000 cycles), the SC might function for up to 13 days with capacitive retention of 60%.
The charging-discharging performance demonstrates the full Jute-based system's possible applications in industries such as sensors, food quality, and pollution management.
Overall, jute fiber can replace ecologically destructive man-made fiber (e.g., glass fiber), and diverse advanced applications of jute fiber and its derivative nanomaterials in compostable bags, clothing, electronic goods, healthcare, and energy sectors are expected to grow rapidly.
More from AZoM: Jute Fiber Composites - Graphene Modifications
References and Further Reading
Shahinur, S. et. al. (2022). Current Development and Future Perspective on Natural Jute Fibers and Their Biocomposites. Polymers.14. 1445. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14071445
Shah S. et. al. (2021). Present status and future prospects of jute in nanotechnology: A review. The Chemical Record. 21(7). 1631-1665. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1002/tcr.202100135
Ashraf, M.A. et. al. (2019). A. Jute Based Bio and Hybrid Composites and Their Applications. Fibers. 7. 77. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/fib7090077
Manjakkal, L et. al. (2021). Natural Jute Fibre‐Based Supercapacitors and Sensors for Eco‐Friendly Energy Autonomous Systems. Advanced Sustainable Systems. 5(3). 2000286. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1002/adsu.202000286
Farzana, M. et. al. (2022). Properties and application of jute fiber reinforced polymer-based composites. GSC Advanced Research and Reviews. 11(1), 084-094. Available at: https://doi.org/10.30574/gscarr.2022.11.1.0095