The most used natural fibers are cotton, flax and hemp, although sisal, jute, kenaf, and coconut are also widely used.
Hemp fibers are mainly used for ropes and aerofoils because of their high suppleness and resistance within an aggressive environment. Hemp fibers are, for example, currently used as a seal within the heating and sanitary industries.
After World War II, the build-up of synthetic fibers significantly decreased the use of natural fibers. Now, with the increase of oil prices and environmental considerations, there has been a revival of natural fiber use within the textile, building, plastic and automotive industries. This interest is reinforced by the developmental perspectives on the agro-industrial market and local productions, allowing economic development and independence versus imported materials.
France remains the greatest European hemp fiber producer with 50,000 tons yearly (EU 100,000 tons). France also produces the largest range of industrial seeds worldwide. China and Russia are also important producers, but the statistics in that field are not available. In the industrial domain, the consortium DAIFA group SAS have reached a leading position in Europe in the automotive plastics market. They specialize in injection and thermopress plastics reinforced with natural fibers.
The use of natural fibers at the industrial level improves the environmental sustainability of the parts being constructed, especially within the automotive market. Within the building industry, the interest in natural fibers is mostly economical and technical; natural fibers allow insulation properties higher than current materials.
Lucintel Analyzes Natural Fiber Composites Outlook for 2011 and Beyond: Market to Reach US $531.3 Million by 2016.
Oct 29, 2011; The natural fiber composites market has experienced growth over the last five years and is expected to continue its growth...
Lucintel to Present Natural Fiber and Resins Paper at 2nd IICS Bio Materials Forum During JEC Composites Show 2011
Mar 21, 2011; Wireless News 03-21-2011 Lucintel to Present Natural Fiber and Resins Paper at 2nd IICS Bio Materials Forum During JEC Composites...