Flax & hemp fibers as reinforcement in composite
The two strategic issues: innovation and sustainable development
“As renewable European resources, natural flax and hemp fibers have become the champions of a bioeconomy in which their exclusive, reliable mechanical performance properties are more than ever in harmony with sustainable innovation.
In only a decade, the flax and hemp industry has met the challenge of a constantly changing market reality. Now it proposes a broad range of semi-finished products that demonstrate the technological potential of flax and hemp in the composite industry, in all of its markets and market developments.
Sustained by the active innovation strategy led by the European flax and hemp industry, these dynamics have successfully met the expectations of all our partners, be they manufacturers, engineering departments, or designers. All sectors are now concerned, including design objects, acoustics, mobility, sports&leisure, automotive, aerospace, interior architecture, wind energy, yachting, and more broadly, consumer goods. All have become our customers.
By establishing its European Scientific Council, the European Confederation of Flax and Hemp [CELC] has been able to lay the foundation for a long-term R&D strategy, helped along by the remarkable properties of flax (of which Europe is the world’s leading producer) and guided by an industrialization process in which open innovation plays a prominent role. The result has been a set of solutions that are adapted to new applications, as dictated by market imperatives. This new reality has provided the opportunity to demonstrate that flax and hemp fibers are not limited to the role of a substitute for fossil resources. They can capitalize on their combined environmental benefits and exclusive mechanical properties”
Marc Depestele, President of the CELC Technical Section
THE ADDED VALUE OF PROVEN MECHANICAL PERFORMANCE AND REMARKABLE PROPERTIES
Flax and hemp reinforcements can be used to create composites, as a function of the process used. They provide:
- Low density (1.5 vs. 2.54 for glass fiber)
- Higher specific stiffness than for glass fiber
- Better vibration damping than for carbon or glass fiber
- Better thermal insulation than for carbon fiber
- Better acoustic insulation than for carbon or glass fiber
- Impact response
- Fatigue behavior
- Radiowave transparency
Automotive part by Bcomp
BIOMOBILE – Flax Biobike
DEPESTELE / UNIVERSITÉ DE BRETAGNE SUD / MULTIPLAST – 100% biosourced ship
FLAXCO by Flipts & Dobbels – 100% biosourced flax composite sandwich
GROUPE DEPESTELE / LINCORE – Flax Chair – design by Christien Meindertsma by Labelbreed – technical biosourced plate
DEPESTELE – XXL Screen Frame – Pathé Wepler Cinéma Clichy, Paris France
TU/E TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT EINDHOVEN – Biosourced Pedestrian bridge – Eindhoven
FLAX & HEMP: A RAW MATERIAL WITH ADDED ENVIRONMENTAL VALUE
- Local resource: 80% of the fiber production within Europe
- Renewable resource
- Zero irrigation, zero GMO, zero waste
- Natural and mechanical conversion process (retting – scutching/defibration)
- Commitments certified by the EUROPEAN FLAX® Charter, a quality label designating premium European flax fiber for all applications.
- CO2 storage: in Europe, the cultivation of flax results in the capture of 250,000 tons of CO2 each year (EQUIVALENT TO THE CO2 EMISSIONS GENERATED BY A RENAULT CLIO CAR DRIVING AROUND THE WORLD 62 000 TIMES) – Source : Flax Barometer 2015
- Energy saving: taking the energy needed to produce one kg of fibers as a comparative parameter, flax requires under 10 MJ/kg, or 5 times less than glass fiber, and 25 times less than carbon fiber.
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