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Composites and Technical Fabrics: The Potential for Flax and Hemp

July 18, 2008

Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/939b46/composites_and_tec) has announced the addition of the “Composites and Technical Fabrics: The Potential for Flax and Hemp” report to their offering.

Composite materials are found in many everyday products, ranging from aircraft, cars and boats to skis and golf clubs. They consist of a tough fibrous material which is bound with a resin. The result is a structure which is light in weight and strong. Many critical industrial, aerospace and military applications make use of composites because of their durability and their resistance to severe environmental conditions at a reasonable cost.

A high percentage of composites are based on glass fibre, combined with polyester, vinyl ester or epoxy resins. However, the use of natural fibres such as hemp and flax in composites has been growing. Such materials are already being employed as components for the automotive and building industries. Although the amounts involved are small, it is thought that there could be much wider potential for flax and hemp in these applications.

The use of flax and hemp can result in a number of benefits. The fibres are seen as being “green” in the sense that they constitute a renewable resource and the processing of the fibres is environmentally friendly. Also, the cultivation of flax and hemp is heavily subsidised by the EU. The main drawback of using flax and hemp is that their performance characteristics tend to be inferior to those of the more commonly used synthetic fibres. Consequently, flax and hemp can only be used in a limited range of technical textile applications.

However, extensive research and development (R&D) is being undertaken in some European countries, particularly France, in a bid to widen the market and find profitable end uses for these materials.

Key Topics Covered:

SUMMARY

INTRODUCTION

APPLICATIONS AND PROPERTIES OF FLAX AND HEMP IN TECHNICAL TEXTILES

ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF USING FLAX AND HEMP IN COMPOSITES AND TECHNICAL FABRICS

MARKETS FOR COMPOSITES

Market for composites by end use sector

Structure of the composites industry

Market growth

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE SUPPLY OF FIBRES FOR USE IN COMPOSITES

Price rises

Consolidation

FLAX AND HEMP-BASED COMPOSITES IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

Techni-Lin

AFT Plasturgie

FUTURE PROSPECTS

List of tables

Table 1: Mechanical characteristics of flax, hemp and competing fibres

Table 2: Structure of final processing in the global composites industry, by volume, 2008

Table 3: Global market for composites by end use sector, 1999-2005

Companies Mentioned:

– AFT Plasturgie

– Techni-Lin

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/939b46/composites_and_tec




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