Study: Cotton In Fibre-Reinforced Polymers

The use of natural fibres in composites offers an interesting alternative to petrochemical products. In the German and Austrian automotive industry there is an increasing demand over the past years since 1997.

Reclaimed cotton is mainly used as a low cost fibre to “fill” composites used as interior parts in the automotive industry. Mechanical requirements of such a composites are low and the potential of the cotton-fibre properties to reinforce plastics is not used adequately.

This paper gives background information and discusses the use of the cotton fibres in composites compared to bast fibres like ramie. In this study the fibre strength was tested with a Dia-Stron testing device, fineness was tested with an image analysis system Fibreshape. A roller card with flexible card clothing is well suited to process fibres to a multi layer web. Cotton and ramie fibres were embedded in epoxy resin and a biobased resin PTP®. The composites were tested for impact and tensile properties.

The results show that mechanical properties of the composites are strongly influenced by fibre properties. The data and results demonstrate the important role force-elongation characteristics of fibre play in optimising the properties of natural fibre composites. Cotton with its morphological and mechanical properties can play a more crucial role to optimise products with a view to improve the impact properties.

Müssig, J. 2006: Cotton in fibre-reinforced polymers. In: Marquardt F. (Editor): 28th International Cotton Conference Bremen (Bremen, Germany 2006-03-22 till 2006-03-25) Bremen: Faserinstitut Bremen e.V. and Bremer Baumwollbörse, 2006, p. 163 – 175 .- Proceedings

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Pers. Mitteilung von Dr. J. Müssig vom 2006-03-28.