Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Development of a quality controlled fibre production chain

The project concerns the use of maleic anhydride as a means of increasing the compatibility between polypropylene (PP) and the lignocellulosic fibres. This is one aspect of an integrated approach covering the complete production chain of annual fibre polypropylene (AFPP), including fibre production, fibre opening, fibre treatment, matrix treatment, compounding process and production of actual prototype parts from composite materials. The following activities were undertaken:
optimization of the physical and chemical characteristics by pulping of the fibre;
development of treatments to modify the composition of the individual fibres, including hydrophilic and hydrophobic modifications;
adaptation of the PP to increase its suitability as a matrix;
development of an efficient compounding process;
development of feeder technology applicable to dry (pre-treated) annual fibres;
optimization of end product manufacturing techniques to fully exploit the properties of AFPP.

In addition the environmental impact was investigated by Life Cycle Analysis, while economic considerations took into account estimates of costs of the individual process steps as well as of the integrated processing chain.

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