In this work the mechanical properties of polyurethane/jute fiber composites were evaluated as a function of fiber content and mineral filler addition. A polyurethane (PU) derived from castor oil was used as the matrix and hessian cloth as reinforcement. The effect of the incorporation of small amounts of local clay (bentonite), in its calcium and sodium forms, on the mechanical properties of polyurethane/jute composites was also investigated. The results indicate that the tensile properties of the composites substantially increased with jute fiber addition and that although the mechanical properties of the matrix were affected by the addition of nanoparticulate clay, the improvement was not as expected. This was attributed to poor mixing and dispersion of the filler, which was confirmed by SEM. A synergistic effect was observed for the hybrid clay/jute fiber composites, with considerable improvement in the mechanical performance of the hybrid composites.
Composite; polyurethane; jute fiber; nanoparticulate filler