Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 94–102 | Cite as

Cotton Fibre-reinforced Thermosets Versus Ramie Composites: A Comparative Study using Petrochemical- and Agro-based Resins

Original Paper


Natural fibres offer an interesting alternative to petrochemical products. Reclaimed cotton is mainly used as a low cost fibre to “fill” composites used as interior parts in the automotive industry. Mechanical requirements of such composites are low and the potential of the cotton-fibre to reinforce plastics is not used adequately. This paper gives background information and discusses the use of the cotton fibres in composites compared to ramie fibres. In this study the fibre strength was tested with a Dia-Stron device, fineness was tested with Fibreshape. A roller card is well suited to process fibres to a multi layer web. Cotton and ramie fibres were embedded in epoxy resin and a bio-based resin PTP®. The composites were tested for impact and tensile properties. The results show that mechanical properties of the composites are strongly influenced by fibre properties. The data and results demonstrate the important role force-elongation characteristics of fibre play in optimising the properties of natural fibre composites. Cotton with its morphological and mechanical properties can play a more crucial role to optimise products with a view to improve the impact properties.


Cotton Ramie Agro-based resin PTP Fibre properties 



The author thanks Mr. Sebastian Rau and Mrs. Birgit Pfeiffer for their support in the fibre quality measurements and the composite production and testing. We are much indebted to Mr. Uwe Schönfeld, Leader of R&D at the company Bio-Composites And More GmbH, Ipsheim, Germany for providing us with the biobased resin PTP®-L and his support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hochschule Bremen - University of Applied Sciences, Biomimetics/Biological MaterialsBremenGermany

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