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Optimising industrial hemp fibre for composites

Abstract
The optimisation of New Zealand grown hemp fibre for inclusion in composites has been investigated. The optimum growing period was found to be 114 days, producing fibres with an average tensile strength of 857 MPa and a Young’s modulus of 58 GPa. An alkali treatment with 10wt% NaOH solution at a maximum processing temperature of 160o C with a hold time of 45 minutes was found to produce strong fibres with a low lignin content and good fibre separation. Although a good fit with the Weibull distribution function was obtained for single fibre strength, this did not allow for accurate scaling to strengths at different lengths. Alkali treated fibres, polypropylene and a maleated polypropylene (MAPP) coupling agent were compounded in a twin-screw extruder, and injection moulded into composite tensile test specimens. The strongest composite consisted of polypropylene with 40wt% fibre and 3wt% MAPP, and had a tensile strength of 47.2 MPa, and a Young’s modulus of 4.88 GPa.
Type
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Series
Citation
Pickering, K. L., Beckermann, G., Alam, S. N., & Foreman, N. J. (2007). Optimising industrial hemp fibre for composites. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 38(2), 461–468.
Date
2007
Publisher
Pergamon
Degree
Supervisors
Rights
This is an author's accepted version of an article published in the journal: Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing © 2007 Pergamon. Used with permission.