Provide a 7 pages analysis while answering the following question: The Use of Natural Fibre Composites. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. The engineering industry has focused its interests once again to use of natural fibre composites as bio-composites with positive environmental outcomes. In order to substitute and compete effectively with other fibres, fibre treatments have extensively been used to improve and strengthen natural fibre (Brouwer n.d.). Animals and plants are rich sources of natural fibre.
Plant fibre has found extensive use because it is easily grown and is easily accessible. Plant fibres come in various forms. leaf, seed, fruit, and bast fibres, and have wide applications based on their properties. From the leaf are examples of Abaca and sisal fibre characterised by sturdiness and roughness. Cotton wool is the most commonly used seed originating fibre, while kapok and coconut fibre comes from the fruits. Bast fibre has the most uses and produces length yarns. its characterised by high stiffness, obtained from the stems and entails wood, jute, flax, hemp, kenaf, Bamboo straws and ramie among others. These fibres are often used as reinforcement materials in composites either as wood or non-wood fibre.
Natural fibres consist of different chemical elements that determine their differences in physical properties. According to Westman et al (2010 p. 4), the primary constituents of natural fibre are “cellulose, hemicelluloses, pectin and lignin, whose individuals percentage varies with the type of the fibre, and their growing and harvesting conditions.” These chemicals are contained in the cells of the fibre and some decline during fibre processing. For example, cotton has high cellulose and Flax and hemp with high hemicelluloses than other fibres. On the other side, sisal has high lignin and Pectin components compared to the rest. In addition to these polymers are water, waxes, inorganic and organic components, which all can influence the fibre’s mechanical appearance and .performance.