International Journal of Material Forming

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 1023–1052 | Cite as

Specific features of flax fibres used to manufacture composite materials

  • Christophe Baley
  • Moussa Gomina
  • Joel Breard
  • Alain Bourmaud
  • Sylvain Drapier
  • Manuela Ferreira
  • Antoine Le Duigou
  • Pierre Jacques Liotier
  • Pierre Ouagne
  • Damien Soulat
  • Peter DaviesEmail author


The use of composite materials reinforced by flax fibres has been increasing steadily over the last 20 years. These fibres show attractive mechanical properties but also some particularities (naturally limited length, presence of a lumen, fibres grouped in bundles in the plant, complex surface properties and composition). An analysis of the available literature indicates that the quality of the composite materials studied is not always optimal (high porosity, incomplete impregnation, heterogeneous microstructure, variable fibre orientation). This paper reviews published data on the specific nature of flax fibres with respect to manufacturing of biocomposites (defined here as polymers reinforced by natural fibres). All the important steps in the process which influence final properties are analyzed, including the plant development, retting, fibre extraction, fibre treatment, preform preparation, available manufacturing processes, the impregnation step, fibre cell wall changes during processing and fibre/matrix adhesion.


Composite materials biocomposite flax fibre polymer processing 



The authors are grateful to the CNRS for supporting the Research Group GDR 3671 (Mise en œuvre des matériaux composites et propriétés induites).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christophe Baley
    • 1
  • Moussa Gomina
    • 2
  • Joel Breard
    • 3
  • Alain Bourmaud
    • 1
  • Sylvain Drapier
    • 4
  • Manuela Ferreira
    • 5
  • Antoine Le Duigou
    • 1
  • Pierre Jacques Liotier
    • 4
  • Pierre Ouagne
    • 6
  • Damien Soulat
    • 5
  • Peter Davies
    • 7
    Email author
  1. 1.IRDL, UMR CNRS 6027Université de Bretagne-SudLorient CedexFrance
  2. 2.CRISMAT, UMR CNRS 6508Caen Cedex 4France
  3. 3.LOMCUMR CNRS 6294, Université du HavreLe HavreFrance
  4. 4.École des Mines de Saint-Étienne, UMR CNRS 5307, LGFUniversity of LyonSaint-Étienne cedex 2France
  5. 5.ENSAIT, GEMTEXUniversity of LilleRoubaixFrance
  6. 6.Laboratoire Génie de Production (LGP), INP-ENITUniversité de ToulouseTarbesFrance
  7. 7.IFREMER, Centre de BretagneLCSMPlouzanéFrance

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