Lignocellulosic fibres derived from wood and annual plants are known to be strongly upgraded biologically (resistance to fungi and insects) and technologically (dimensional stability, resistance to weathering) when the cell wall components are chemically modified by bonding bulky, less hydrophilic groups such as the naturally occuring acetyl groups.
Chemical modification has been shown to be applicable not only to high-quality wood fibres, but also to fibres from fast-growing hardwood species and annual plants and to waste wood fibres and fibres recovered from waste paper products. By this upgrading renewable fibres with different origin are transferred into a high-quality, non-toxic resource.
The strongly improved properties gained by chemical modification enable the manufacturing of moulded fibre composites with properties that allow the composites to be used in new applications where traditional wood fibre based products have shown to possess insufficient technical properties. The overall aim of the project is to produce moulded, high-performance fibre composites and evaluate their properties in comparison with those achieved with present technology using non-modified fibres thereby visualizing the improvements gained by the new techniques in different applications. To be able to fulfil this objective, the project will include the following integrated tasks :
Different chemical modifications of fibres from different fibre sources including recycled fibre and fibre from annual plants will be performed. The modified fibres will be used in well-known mat-forming systems for dry-forming of fibres in order to produce a flexible, low-density fibre mat suitable for moulding of composite products of complex shape. The known technique has revealed a need for further development due to a different behaviour of the modified, drier fibre in the mixing head of the mat-forming machine.
Finally, a market analysis will be performed based on specifications of requirement and the ability of competitiveness for the new products within different market segments. The proposed project has a strong industrial input.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
3600 BN Maarssen
LL57 2UW Bangor (Gwynedd)