The increasing social pressure for biodegradable, sustainable, and environmentally-friendly products has launched the use of natural fibers in fiber reinforced polymer composites. Unfortunately, due to the integration of organic material in thermoplastic components, the fiber-matrix interfacial bonding is poor. While the organic material is hydrophilic, able to absorb water, the majority of polymer matrices are hydrophobic, unable to bond with water. The interfacial shear strength, a quantity to measure this bonding, has been shown to be improved through morphological and chemical treatment. In this context, the interfacial shear strength of banana fiber in low-density polyethylene has not been fully characterized. The aim of this study is to identify and optimize the interfacial shear strength of banana fiber in a polymer matrix through a polymer-compatibilization technique. For characterization of the fiber-matrix interfacial bonding, a commonly used micromechanical technique, the pull-out test, is used. While these initial results range from 0.4 MPa to 1.5 MPa, multiple samples exhibit greater than 30% improvement in interfacial bonding. The results reveal a need for a more exact measurement method; however, they also reveal the potential use of polymer-compatibilization as a replacement to fiber-modification treatments.

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