In the simplest term, they perform like synthetic fibers but have life-cycle superiority;
they are fully compatible with current
industrial processes, manufacturable
on an industrial-scale.
Plant Fibers and
Natural fiber composites show high performance in mechanical and sound absorption properties, lightweighting, and recyclability but low in density, carbon emission impact, and cost.
Compared to synthetic materials like glass and carbon fiber? Natural fiber composites are lighter, environmentally superior, show better damping properties, low skin irritating, CO2 neutral, low-cost, less brittle etc.
How Possible to Replace or Reduce Synthetic Materials?
Mechanical design and life assessment of engineering applications strongly depend on the stiffness-rigidity balance of materials. The composite industry used to rely on only synthetic fibers as load-carrying reinforcements. However, the green deal paves the way for sustainable choices in composite materials. Here comes the good news; recent research has demonstrated that natural fibers are sustainable alternatives to either replace glass fibers or reduce carbon fibers in certain applications via design.
Natural fiber composites, especially the ones consisting of aligned fibers, have the potential to meet demands in terms of high stiffness and reasonable strength as well. Besides performance and sustainability, much better noise-vibration-harshness properties and easy-handling are the bonus! The key point is the accurate design of both reinforcement and the final product. BPREG offer required expertise and integrative engineering in natural fibers to enable the successful application.
Why Natural Fibers?
In BPREG, we focus on plant fibers, flax & hemp, as substitutes to traditional synthetic composite reinforcements. The rationale behind our choice is obvious: both plants perform high mechanical properties if they are cultivated, harvested, processed, and engineered correctly. High-quality flax and hemp are cultivated throughout the centuries in Anatolia; where BPREG is located. Together with our R&D Cooperative named Dongu (means `circular` in Turkish), we already have the know-how and experience to control the value-chain from seed to advanced composite.
The fiber production from flax & hemp is carbon-neutral, and producing zero waste as all parts of the plant are used. These plants consume only 1/5 of the energy used in the production of glass fiber and do not require irrigation water; in another saying suitable for dry agriculture. The use of pesticides is not necessary, as these plants have no pests. Finally, several life-cycle assessment (LCA) studies have reported that natural fiber-reinforced composites are environmentally superior to glass and carbon fiber-reinforced composites.