Influence of Waste Vetiver Root Fiber on Mechanical, Hydrophobicity, and Biodegradation of Soy-Based Biocomposites as Plastic Substitute
Combating pollution caused by nondegradable thermoplastics is a significant challenge keeping in view of their marginal cost, mechanical strength and ease of use for the production of esthetic products. Only low-cost/waste natural fiber-reinforced composites provide a ray of hope for replacing the aforementioned composites, but these composites have significant limitations, including low mechanical strength and excessive water penetration. Varying the weight percentages of waste vetiver fiber, soy-based composites are fabricated and characterized in this study. The highest tensile and flexural strengths of the vetiver–soy composite are found as 49.78 MPa and 51.4 MPa, respectively. The fabricated composite is moderately hydrophobic in nature, as per the contact angle and water absorption studies. Post-soil burial degradation studies like weight loss, Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy, and optical micrography revealed that produced composite is totally biodegradable in nature. As a result, vetiver–soy composite will be a viable replacement for plastic and plastic-based items majorly in sectors like auto mobile industry and packaging sector.