Economic Opportunities in Natural Fiber-Thermoplastic Composites
Combining agro-fibers (lignocellulosics) with other resources provides a strategy for producing advanced composite materials that take advantage of the properties of both types of resources. It allows the scientist to design materials based on end-use requirements within a framework of cost, availability, recyclability, energy use, and environmental considerations. Lignocellulosic resources have low densities, are low in cost, renewable, non-abrasive, have excellent specific mechanical properties, and are potentially outstanding reinforcing fillers in thermoplastic composites. The specific tensile and flexural moduli, for example, of a 50% by volume of kenaf-PP composite compares favorably with a 40 % by weight of glass fiber-PP injection molded composite. These new composite materials are finding new applications and new markets never before envisioned by the agro-based industry.
KeywordsInjection Molding Natural Fiber Wood Flour Thermoplastic Composite Mechanical Properlies
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