naturals fibers


February 16, 2024

Due to environmental regulations and the relentless search for non-petroleum-derived resources, natural fibers have become a respectable environmentally-friendly alternative to synthetic fiberglass in certain structural applications. However, the wide range and high variations in the mechanical properties of natural fibers found in the literature necessitate a rigorous selection process based on a testing campaign.

Natural fibers can be divided into three types (vegetable, animal, and mineral). The most commonly used fibers in the composite materials industry are VEGETABLES FIBERS, which can be further categorized into SIX TYPES based on their origin (STREM, LEAF, SEED, FRUIT, CANE, and WOOD). The global production of vegetable-based natural fibers is substantial. The primary use is in the manufacturing of artisanal elements or decorative structures.

STEM: Linen, Hemp, Kenaf, Jute, Esparto, Ramie.

LEAF: Sisal, Palm, Pineapple.

Seed: Cotton.

Fruit: Banana.

Cane: Bamboo.


NATURAL FIBERS are composed of a matrix of lignin, cellulose microfibrils, and hemicellulose. They consist of a primary cell and several secondary cells. In each cell, the cellulose microfibrils are oriented at a certain angle. The diameter of an individual fiber is around 10 μm, and each microfibril has a diameter of approximately 2-20 nm, composed of 30-100 molecules. The cellulose content increases while the lignin content decreases from the primary cell to the secondary cells, and the hemicellulose content remains constant.

In addition to the main components, fiber contains pectin, fat, waxes, and water-soluble substances.

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