Fibre reinforced polymers find wide commercial application in the aerospace, leisure, automotive, construction and sporting industries. There has been much interest in developing natural fibre reinforced polymers for a sustainable substitution of these synthetic, high-embodied energy materials to commercially exploit past research investment on the world market and for Europe to reap the sustainability benefits. New research must be undertaken to reduce processing costs and to improve fibre quality, consistency, and efficiency. The UltraFibre project will address these restrictions in the supply chain by delivering:
A scalable, economic, continuous, clean- fluidsonics technology to deliver tonnage quantities of high quality fibre, conferring:
- Reduced standard deviation in tensile test data by 30% of the fibres in comparison with conventional retting techniques, indicating improved fibre quality and consistency.
- Integration of a Soft Plasma fibre treatment process giving a 25% increase in mechanical properties compared with the untreated fibre.
- Commercial thermoplastic and thermosetting composites in targeted end-user applications.
- Bio-composites with improved mechanical properties for new high-tech applications.