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UNCONVENTIONAL FIBRE PLANTS: A SOURCE OF SUSTAINAB LELIVELIHOOD
Submitted To:Dr.V.R.CHARIAR Dept.Of RURAL DEVLOPMENT IIT DELHI
Submitted By:Rajendra Singh (2010TTE3680) Pradeep Singh Tanwar (2010TTE3666) Dept.Of Textile Technology
Amongst conventionally used fibres like cotton. fibre boards. A sheep skin wrapped carelessly round the body may be better than nothing for keeping out the cold. . At some point in history. twines and nets. The basic requirements changed with the evolution of civilization. Sustainable living. tissues. man was dependent upon animal skins and furs to keep him warm. particularly due to recent tilt towards more friendly textiles. wool. Bastra and Basasthan”–are not only slogans but are prime requirement since ancient times. The return to nature to meet our clothing.back to chemical free and organic production methods. non-woven fabrics.Abstract: “Anna. he found that the long thin fibres produced by plants and animals could be twisted together to form a thread. jute and silk there are many other fibres produced in India which fall into the category of unconventional fibres like ramie. Application of these fibers include filler or reinforcement materials. These unconventional fibres are commonly used for preparation of a wide variety of products and in many forms. composites and automotive parts. ropes. Inevitably. These threads then interlaced into woven fabric to provide a flexible. pineapple. insulation or used as structural elements and disposable or durable products such as yarns and textiles. sisal etc. Natural fibers. Key words: Unconventional fibers. We must also return to traditional methods of production. bananas. paper and board products. packaging. man began to look around for something that would keep him warm more elegantly and more comfortably than an evil-smelling hide. Natural fibres have wide scope of application in textile field. building and construction materials. geotextiles. food and medicinal need is one option that is required if we want to achieve sustainable living. warm and supremely comfortable material such as he had never known before. Introduction During the early days of his existence.
vegetable fibres.e.The fibres used in modern textile manufacture can be classified into two main groups: (a) natural and (b) man-made fibres. The vegetable or plant based fibres are cellulosic in nature and are classified into hard and soft fibre categories according to their availability in a particular part of the plant and also based on the stiffness associated with it in the raw state . Natural fibres can be subdivided into three main classes. India has a rich heritage of natural plant material due to wide range of climatic variations. according to the nature of their source i. Vegetable fibres of plant origin are used in variety of textile and industrial products. . animal fibre and mineral fibres.
Through the process of retting. Hemp. dried for several months. Jute and Ramie are soft fibres. thus facilitating separation of the fibre from the stem. Retting time must be carefully judged. Hard fibres generally come from the leaves of monocot (single seed-leaf) species. bundles of stalks are submerged in water. The hardness in the the plant's fibres is caused by the deposit of lignin in the cell walls. Retting: This process employes the action of bacteria and moisture on plants to dissolve or rot away much of the cellular tissues and gummy substances surrounding bast-fibre bundles. Here the transport of the products of photosynthesis and the development of stabilizing structures take place. Flax. Extraction of fibres 1. the bast lies directly under the outer bark or skin. Basic methods include water retting and dew retting. the Xylem. the bast is removed from the stems. under-retting makes fiber separation difficult. banana and diverse palms.Most soft fibres come from the bast portion of the plant. thus increasing absorption of both moisture and decay-producing bacteria. In double retting. bursting the outermost layer. a gentle process producing excellent fibre. also called the phloem. Hard fibres are comprised not only of the phloem but also partly of the hardened wood core of the plant. the stalks are removed from the water before retting is completed. penetrating to the central stalk portion. and over-retting weakens the fibre. and then . In water retting. The water. swells the inner cells. the most widely practiced method. for example sisal.
retted again .
which requires treatment to reduce harmful toxic elements before its release. called straw. for about 8 to 14 days. dissolving much of the stem material surrounding the fibre bundles.Natural water retting employs stagnant or slow-moving waters. and dew produces fermentation. In this procedure. the harvested plant stalks are spread evenly in grassy fields. which is usually changed to assure clean fibre. are dried in open air or by mechanical means and are frequently stored for a short period to allow curing to occur. is rich in chemicals and is sometimes used as liquid fertilizer. Waste retting water. The retted stalks. Within two to three weeks. air. and slow streams and rivers. sun. where the combined action of bacteria. In the first six to eight hours. which is common in areas having limited water resources. much of the dirt and colouring matter is removed by the water. such as ponds. usually employing concrete vats. The process. usually with stones or wood. requires about four to six days and is feasible in any season. facilitating fibre removal. called the leaching period. the fibre can beseparated. is most effective in climates with heavy nighttime dews and warm daytime temperatures. Tank retting. Final separation of the fibre is accomplished by a breaking process in which the . Dew retting. an increasingly important method. depending upon climatic conditions. allows greater control and produces more uniform quality. depending upon water temperature and mineral content. Dew-retted fibre is generally darker in colour and of poorer quality than waterretted fibre. The stalk bundles are weighted down.
2.brittle woody portion of the straw is broken. Some machines combine breaking and scutching operations. There are three types of decorticator available in the market i. Industrial applications of fibre crops Fibres are commonly applied in a wide variety of products and in many forms.e. and the shives may serve as fuel to heat the retting water or may be made into wallboard. followed by the scutching operation. is usually treated a second time. The short fibre (tow) thus obtained are frequently used in paper manufacture. disal based. Waste material from the first scutching. which removes the broken woody pieces (shives) by beating or scraping. and disposable or durable products such as: . consisting of shives and short fibres. either by hand or by passing through rollers. patrol based and electrical decorticator. insulation or used as structural elements. or reinforcement. Decortication: Decorticator is used for the extraction of fibres from some hard leaves such as sisal and murva. Applications include as filler.
In many regional . comfort and good absorbency (8%). fishing nets The competitive price and performance of synthetic fibres has led to a severe decrease in the use of natural fibres in the manufacturing of ropes and binder twines. lustrous and flexible. Apparels and furnishings The fiber is one of the most valuable parts of the unconventional fibre plant. The use of flax fibre in the manufacturing of cloth in northern Europe dates back to Neolithic times. As these bast and leaf fibers can not be used in 100% products due to their lack of pliability.1. for apparel and furnishings. resistance to ultraviolet light and mold. Characteristics of hemp fibre are its superior strength and durability. Ropes. Flax fiber is extracted from the bast or skin of the stem of flax plant. Flax fiber is soft. twines. 2. so these are commonly blended with fibres such as linen. Flax fibers are amongst the oldest fiber crops in the world. cotton or silk.
markets synthetic fibres have totally displaced natural fibre products. where synthetic fishing nets and hawsers. as compared to wood based products have a negative environmental image. However. Therefore sisal or agave (that yields a stifffiber) may be used in making rope. are widely used because of their strength. in some applications the biodegradability of natural fibre products has substantial advantages for the environment. For example in horticulture. Beside this hemp. flax and coir fibres are also used for making rope and twines although their cost is high but are ecofriendly. This is mainly due to partial application of effluent treatment and chemical recovery systems in relatively small scale pulping . or in shipping and fisheries. Paper and boards The paper and pulp applications of non-wood fibres in woodfree pulps. 3. are causing severe damage to wild life due to their persistence.
consolidated and finished by subsequent calendering on hot rollers. similar to paper making processes. It can be recycled many times over (7) as opposed to 3 for tree paper. cross-linking chemicals are used. Non-woven fabrics Non-woven fabrics manufactured by dry-laid needle punching technology can be produced from most natural fibres. or the fibres are blended with synthetic fibres. With this technology. For various applications. Each fibre yields a characteristic fabric. depending on its length and softness. Because no acids are needed to process the hemp into paper. Approximately 10 per cent of the world’s virgin pulp is made from non-wood pulp of which a large proportion is produced in China from wheat and rice straw. high pressure water jets are used to entangle the fibres and. 4.mills. The best thing about hemp paper and other paper manufactured from the unconventional fibre plant is that we no longer need to cut down trees for pulp. Alternatively. the fibres form bonds at contact points upon drying. resulting in a strong web structure. bagasse and bamboo. to enhance the coherence in the non-woven mat. These papers are of a higher quality then tree papers so it has an expensive feel to it. a wet laid process can be used. . It lasts thousands of years rather then a few decades as for tree paper. hemp paper will not yellow soon after printing.
The natural biodegradation of the lignocellulosic fibres can be considered to be an important advantage in temporary civil engineering applications.Non-wovens are applied in various forms and products. and provide the required protection against erosion. Production of hemp erosion control mats is . filling material in mattresses. under the applied conditions. floor covering and carpets. 5. the functional life time of a geotextile should be sufficient. However. Geotextiles Hemp-based erosion control blanket Geotextiles are used in areas such as reinforcement for embankments in order to prevent erosion in landscape engineering structures. building industries as insulation mat. furniture. filters. laminates and composites. such as: tissues and hygienic products. as long as the construction needs to be stabilised. sorbents in diapers and disposables. horticultural substrate and geotextiles.
the ability to last outdoors for many years is frequently undesirable in geotextiles. synthetic binder twines. whilst mineral woolproducts may also negatively affect human health. Moreover. the use of renewable growing media has been investigated with coir pith. Other fibrous materials and bark have also been considered for conversion to ecologically sound alternatives in potting mixtures and substrates with promising results. or peat moss. substitution possibilities are limited mainly to the relatively low price of plastic pots. it seems probable that ground matting is a legitimate use. However. being introduced as a renewable substitute for artificial media. as replanting in nurseries becomes unnecessary as roots are able to grow through the pot walls. plastic clips and plant pots are extensively used in modern horticultural production. Biodegradable plant pots manufactured by natural fibres and different binders provide an alternative to plastic plant pots. in spite of the fact that biodegradable plant pots result in a reduction in labour. Given the reputation for rot resistance of hemp canvas and rope. the disposal of plastic inputs and substrates for soil-less production.continuing in both Europe and Canada. . The production process of these alternatives requires less energy whilst their disposal presents no problem to the environment. For producers. 6. such as mineral wool is increasingly becoming a problem. the residue from coir fibre production. Horticultural production materials Artificial substrates. As an alternative.
as fibre board material. insulation materials. as well as reinforcement.7. In the production of substitutes for asbestos cement. Fibre crops could play a more prominent role in building and construction applications. Building materials New building in France being constructed entirely of hemp Building industries contribute to a large extent to resource depletion. waste generation and energy consumption. In lightweight concrete. abaca fibres were proven specifically suitable. Application of fibres in the manufacturing of boards for building is determined mainly by relative prices and can be feasible when . while on the other hand the built environment is vital to economic development. or filler. cellulosic fibres have been known to provide good properties. bricks and loam building blocks.
000 years ago when clay was reinforced with straw to build walls. Coatings. natural resins derived from plants. The rise of composite materials began during the . In order to increase the environmental performance of renewable building materials. the amount of synthetic glue. Composites Concrete block made with hemp in France Composite fibre products are not new. 8.fibres can be produced with lower costs than wood chips. This increases the production costs of the board product. Similarly. such as lignin and furans should be developed for production on commercial scale and become available as binders for boards and as components in protective coatings. but also its ecological performance. The first composite material known was made in Egypt around 3. paints and coatings based on plant oils should preferably be applied. varnishes. In most cases. With the advent of metals. or resin required for binding the fibres to form strong board materials is higher than in the case of wood fibres. paints and adhesives that are mainly based on petrochemical products. are necessary to increase the durability of renewable building inputs. the use of natural fibre for reinforcing declined.
A country that is committed for the elimination of environmentally harmful processes and over-exploitation of non-renewable resources. headliners. and trunk/boot liners. Natural fibres offer many attractive technical and environmental qualities when used as reinforcements in polymer composites. caloric recycling or saving of non-renewable resources. natural fibres could produce composites with specific strength matching that of glass fibre-reinforced plastic and with specific stiffness exceeding it. It is recognised that. is keen to exploit their cost. They provide high specific strength and stiffness. the energy . processability and low raw material and manufacturing energy costs to a range of thermoplastic and thermosetting composite materials. The advantages of using plant fibre include lower raw material price. in particular. These benefits mean that the potential market for natural fibre reinforcement is very large. weight and environmental benefits in thermoplastic injection moulded products. natural fibre composites of thermoplastics and thermosets have found their way into the European car manufacturers for door panels. Conclusion India is considered as one of the vanguards of environmental protection. dashboards. under optimum circumstances. over synthetic fibres in industrial applications partly depends on the possibilities for substitution of the various fibres in the processing.1960s when glass fibres in combination with tough rigid resins was produced on a large scale. The automotive industry. The extent to which the use of natural fibres results in environmental benefits. package trays. In the last couple of decades. seat backs.
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