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Determination of Mechanical Strength Properties of Hemp Fibers Using Near-Infrared Fourier Transform Raman Microspectroscopy

Volume 60, Number 6 (June 2006) Page 682-691

Peetla, Padmaja; Schenzel, Karla C.; Diepenbrock, Wulf

Fourier transform near-infrared (FT-NIR) Raman microspectroscopy was adopted for analyzing the micro mechanical tensile deformation behavior of cellulosic plant fibers. Mechanical strength parameters such as tensile strength, failure strain, and Young's modulus of diversified hemp fibers were determined within the range of single fiber cells and fiber filaments. The analysis of fiber deformation at the molecular level was followed by the response of a characteristic Raman signal of fiber cellulose that is sensitive to the tensile load applied. The frequency shift of the Raman signal at 1095 cm−1 to lower wavenumbers was observed when the fibers were subjected to tensile strain. Microstructural investigations using electron microscopy under environmental conditions supported the discussion of mechanical properties of hemp fibers in relation to several fiber variabilities. Generally, mechanical strength properties of diversified hemp fibers were discussed at the molecular, microstructural, and macroscale level. It was observed that mechanical strength properties of the fibers can be controlled in a broad range by appropriate mercerization parameters such as alkali concentration, fiber shrinkage, and tensile stress applied to the fibers during the alkaline treatments.