Jute Bio-Comp: “Development of Jute Fiber Reinforced Bio-Composites for Industrial Scale Applications”
The project Jute Bio-Comp is an outcome of the long established strategic collaboration between Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Ahmedabad Textile Industry's Research Association (ATIRA) and Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT). The partners are collaborating since last 4 years to develop different fiber reinforced composite materials, processes and applications. Since the last 18 months the partners have been intensively collaborating especially for the development of natural fiber reinforced composites.
Jute is an easily available agricultural product of whose usage may not hamper the global food security in any way, but would enhance the social and economic status of the jute cultivators and hence the economy of the nation. More than 90% of the jute worldwide is coming from countries such as India and Bangladesh; of which 50% is cultivated in India. The surplus amount of jute cultivated in India has not been used so far in value added products such as high performance composites. Even though the market trends suggest an extensive growth in future, there are still a lot of drawbacks and anomalies in usage of Natural fibers (NF’s) in composite application. The major drawbacks of the use of natural fibers in composite is the affinity to water affecting its process ability and mechanical properties by means of chemical and physical behavior. Known issues like lack of good interfacial adhesion, low melting point and poor moisture resistance are also hindrance for utilization of these NF’s in composite applications. Processing of these developed reinforcements on available composite manufacturing technologies is also a complex task which needs a multidisciplinary and holistic approach. Hence, developing a quality consistent reinforcement with jute as natural fibers along with development of different composite manufacturing processes and opening new fields of product applications serves a basic motivation to take and execute the project at hand. This motivation gives rise to Jute Bio-Comp which is an intelligent combination of innovative development approaches that will develop cost-efficient materials and processes for natural fiber reinforced composites and will clear the way for these resource efficient and sustainable materials in demanding technical high-value applications.
Jute Bio-Comp will develop jute fiber reinforced composites that can be used in demanding, high-value technical applications fulfilling requirements of international market. The composites will be developed by an integrated approach, combining material and process development, in the field of:
- Advanced analysis and modifications of jute fibers to increase compatibility to polymers
- Development of quality consistent jute fiber based reinforcements forms e.g. (yarns, slivers, roving’s, woven and nonwoven fabrics, etc.)
- Development of various composite manufacturing process technologies and process chains (RTM, SMC and pultrusion) for processing jute fibers
- Manufacturing and demonstrating the composites and the technologies for specific applications from civil engineering and automotive fields.
- Market development for the newly developed products and production technologies in Germany, India and world altogether