Plastics reinforced with natural fibres
Polymers have traditionally been reinforced with synthetic fibers like glass fibre, carbon fibre, Kevlar, etc. These fibres have excellent properties but are very expensive (Kevlar, carbon fibre) or are very heavy (glass fibre) compared to natural fibres.
Natural fibres are the best candidates to reinforce bioplastics as well as commodity plastics such as PP, when weight is an issue. Natural fibres also have the advantage of being cheaper than glass fibre, costing around half the price.
In order to meet customer requirements and solve the main drawbacks of natural fibres, AIMPLAS has developed solutions for the most critical issues involving natural fibre processing such as:
- Correct fibre selection.
- Correct dosing and handling of natural fibres.
- Correct dispersion and compatibilisation of natural fibres with the polymer.
- Correct processing protocols to avoid fibre degradation and VOC emissions, such as undesired odours.
Technical advice and assistance
AIMPLAS has been working with natural fibres for reinforcing polymers since 2002. AIMPLAS has worked with the majority of fibres (hemp, sisal, flax, cotton, kenaf, cellulose, etc.) acquiring considerable experience in the development of thermoplastic composites reinforced with natural fibres, including commodity and biodegradable plastics.
We offer our experience and assistance in the following areas:
- Development of new naturally reinforced plastic compounds.
- Compounding trials using very small amounts of materials.
- Compounding scale-ups for industrial production machines.
- Datasheets for the new compounds.
- Optimisation of processability in injection moulding and extrusion.