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Powerpoint: Brett Suddell (3.5 MB)


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Powerpoint: Brett Suddell (3.5 MB)

  1. 1. The Current Situation and Future Outlook for Natural Fibres within the Automotive Industry Dr. Brett Suddell University of Wales Swansea, IRC (U.K.) Joint Meeting of the 32 nd session of the Intergovernmental group on Hard Fibres and the 34 th session of the Intergovernmental group on Jute, Kenaf and Allied Fibres 8 to 11 th July 2003 Salvador, Brazil
  2. 2. Presentation Format <ul><li>Short introduction to IRC </li></ul><ul><li>Background to survey </li></ul><ul><li>Intro to NF’s – Advantages/Disadvantages </li></ul><ul><li>Automotive Sector </li></ul><ul><li>Applications </li></ul><ul><li>European Perspective </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledgments </li></ul>
  3. 3. Where are we based?
  4. 4. University of Wales Swansea <ul><li>Interdisciplinary Research Centre </li></ul><ul><li>Centre of Excellence </li></ul><ul><li>School of Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>University of Wales </li></ul><ul><li>Swansea </li></ul><ul><li>Singleton Park </li></ul><ul><li>Swansea SA2 8PP </li></ul><ul><li>South Wales </li></ul><ul><li>UK </li></ul><ul><li>Tel:+44 1792 295286 </li></ul><ul><li>Fax:+44 1792 295693 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>© Crown Copyright: Royal Commission on the ancient and historical monuments of Wales
  5. 5. Introduction to the IRC <ul><li>Established in 1989, 10 year funding via EPSRC </li></ul><ul><li>£12m industrial funding over last decade </li></ul><ul><li>Rolls Royce University Technology Centre </li></ul><ul><li>WDA Centre of Expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Materials CETIC Centre of Excellence </li></ul><ul><li>Accredited by Rolls Royce plc for design standard data </li></ul>
  6. 6. Activities <ul><li>3 rd Sustainable Composites Network seminar (60+ people) </li></ul><ul><li>Work closely with Australian partners </li></ul><ul><li>Working with local SME’s and institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Research with institution based in India </li></ul><ul><li>Enquiries from Africa, Europe, Asia to work on Natural Fibre composite research programmes </li></ul>
  7. 7. Background to Survey <ul><li>Welsh and Australian experts brought together </li></ul><ul><li>New Wales in New South Wales technical programme </li></ul><ul><li>IRC selected due to proven research track record </li></ul><ul><li>Idea for this research borne out of this meeting </li></ul>
  8. 8. Background to Survey <ul><li>Main Focus was the Automotive industry </li></ul><ul><li>Identified fibres and respective applications </li></ul><ul><li>Identified Key Players in Academia and Industry </li></ul><ul><li>Different Continents such as Europe; Australia; America (North and South); India; Africa and Asia </li></ul>
  9. 9. Conferences & Personal visits <ul><li>“ EcoComp” – London, September 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Bast Fibrous Plants..” – China September 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>LINK workshop – UMIST, Manchester October 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Global outlook for Natural Fibre reinforcements” – Orlando, USA December 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>Central Science Laboratory focus meeting – London December 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Industrial Application of Bioplastics 2002”, York, Feb 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Composites Processing Association meeting, Birmingham Feb 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>“ High Performance Structures & Composites”, Seville, Spain. March 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>“ GreenTech”, Amsterdam April 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Progress in woodfibre composites”, Toronto, Canada, May 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>ECCM-10, Brugge, Belgium June 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Plant Fibres laboratory (Copenhagen) </li></ul><ul><li>BioComposites Centre </li></ul><ul><li>Warwick Manufacturing Group </li></ul>
  10. 10. Introduction to Natural Fibres
  11. 11. Fibres
  12. 12. Vegetable fibre classification
  13. 13. Bast Fibres – Bast is Best? <ul><li>Natural task to stabilise plant </li></ul><ul><li>Composed of an inner woody core surrounded by bundles of long hollow fibres and an outer protective skin each containing individual fibre cells or filaments </li></ul><ul><li>Filaments = cellulose & hemicellulose, matrix lignin or pectin </li></ul><ul><li>Good mechanical properties </li></ul><ul><li>Low density BF have potential to be outstanding reinforcements in lightweight composite parts </li></ul>
  14. 14. Leaf Fibres <ul><li>In general coarser than Bast fibres </li></ul><ul><li>Sisal most important – Agave Plant </li></ul><ul><li>Often applied with Flax in hybrid mats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides good permeability when mat impregnated with resin </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interior applications sisal preferred due to low level of odour </li></ul>
  15. 15. Natural Fibres Benefits and Limitations
  16. 16. Advantages <ul><li>Environmental: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plant fibres are a renewable resource </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very low Energy requirement in production (6,500BTU’s=2.2Kg Kenaf, 23,500BTU’s=2.2Kg of glass fibres) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disposal can be by composting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CO 2 neutrality </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Advantages <ul><li>Biological: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Natural organic product </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No dermal or respiratory issues when compared to glass fibres </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do not pose a biohazard on disposal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Production: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fibres are non-abrasive so extremely low wear rates on tooling </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Excellent formability – deep mouldings can be produced </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Moulding off cuts can </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>be reused </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Advantages <ul><li>Component Weight: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Plant fibres have a max. density of 1.5g/cm 3 (that of Cellulose) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Density flax=1.4g/cm 3 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Density Glass fibres = 2.5g/cm 3 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Resulting in high specific strength and stiffness = low component weight </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Injection moulded ABS 4 door panels = 9Kg, same panels utilising NF’s = 5Kg for similar mechanical properties </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Advantages <ul><li>Cost: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Abundant resource in many nations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bast fibres cost significantly less than glass fibres </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Natural fibres 0.5-0.6 Euros/Kg </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Glass fibres 9.0 Euros/Kg </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In addition, weight critical applications usually incur lower costs with any weight savings </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Further Advantages <ul><li>Readily available worldwide </li></ul><ul><li>Exhibit a safer crash behaviour in tests i.e. no splintering </li></ul><ul><li>Hollow tubular (cellular) structure also provides: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good acoustic properties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good thermal insulating properties </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Limitations <ul><li>Concerns over fibre consistency/quality </li></ul><ul><li>Low impact strength (high concentration of fibre defects) </li></ul><ul><li>Fibres are hydrophilic </li></ul><ul><li>Issues of bonding with polymers </li></ul><ul><li>Previous 2 issues largely overcome by development of effective fibre surface treatments – MAPP </li></ul><ul><li>Emission issues – fogging and odour </li></ul><ul><li>Processing Temps – natural sugars caramelise between 150-205 ºC must keep below this level </li></ul>
  22. 22. History & The Automotive Sector
  23. 23. History <ul><li>3000 years ago first composite material made in ancient Egypt - clay/mud reinforced by straw to build walls </li></ul><ul><li>Development of other more durable construction materials such as metals, NF interest was lost </li></ul>
  24. 24. History <ul><li>Early 1930’s, Henry Ford walked into his Company’s research lab with a bag of chicken bones, dumped them on a desk and said, “See what you can do with these!” </li></ul><ul><li>Tried cantaloupes, carrots, cornstalks, cabbages and onions </li></ul><ul><li>Soybean stalks. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1940, Soybean oil could be used to make high quality paint enamel and could be moulded into a fibre based plastic with 10 times the shock-resistance of steel </li></ul><ul><li>If the material had not required a long cure time and had associated moulding problems, we might be driving around in soybean fords today!! </li></ul>
  25. 25. History <ul><li>1939-45 WWII – shortage of Aluminium in England, led to the use of flax fibres impregnated with phenolic resin to form fuselage skins of spitfires – “Gordon-Aerolite” </li></ul><ul><li>1942 Henry Ford – prototype hemp fibre composite car – did not enter production due to economic limitations at that time </li></ul><ul><li>Trabant (1950-90) first production car to be built from NF’s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cotton within a Polyester matrix </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Only in the last 15-20 years have NFC’s seen renewed interest </li></ul>
  26. 26. “ The most environmentally friendly thing that you can do for a car that burns gasoline is to make lighter bodies” Henry Ford
  27. 27. Structure of Automotive components market <ul><li>Important elements of the automotive component industry relevant to natural fibre supply: </li></ul><ul><li>OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturers) – Car manufacturers </li></ul><ul><li>Tier One Suppliers – suppliers of specialised interior systems for assembly by OEM’s </li></ul><ul><li>Substrate Suppliers – non-woven producers in textile industry & plastics producers in case of new natural fibre granulate technology </li></ul><ul><li>Natural Fibre Suppliers – Hemp, Flax, Jute, Kenaf etc. </li></ul><ul><li>To influence specification and usage of natural fibres, suppliers must work with all components identified above. </li></ul><ul><li>The actual customers for natural fibres are the substrate/non-woven producers. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Route to the Automotive Market Fibre Producer Non-woven mat maker Tier 1 supplier Car Manufacturer
  29. 29. Automotive Market <ul><li>To the natural fibre producer the automotive market is attractive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Model platform life is minimum 5 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>7-8 years </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most important Processes Compression Moulding and Injection moulding </li></ul>
  30. 30. Compression Moulding <ul><li>Most common use of bast fibres is in compression moulding technology </li></ul><ul><li>Medium-long fibres in non-woven mat or felt </li></ul><ul><li>Mat produced by air laying or needle punching </li></ul><ul><li>Requires addition of polymers to act as binders – blending prior to needling or coating/impregnation </li></ul>
  31. 31. Injection Moulding <ul><li>Injection moulded composites reinforced by short natural fibres </li></ul><ul><li>Short fibres (4-6mm) + PP in single/twin extruder to produce granulate for injection moulding </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>exterior apps – spoilers and fenders </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>interior apps – “hard” items - dash and instrument panels </li></ul></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Miscanthus <ul><li>Worlds largest Grass </li></ul><ul><li>Grows up to 3m </li></ul><ul><li>Resembles sugar cane </li></ul><ul><li>Short fibres </li></ul><ul><li>Blended by hand </li></ul><ul><li>Injection moulded </li></ul><ul><li>Structural filler in plastic wheel trims </li></ul>
  33. 33. Applications
  34. 34. Fibre Applications
  35. 35. Applications Mercedes-Benz ‘E’Class Mercedes-Benz ‘A’ Class Audi A2 first mass produced vehicle with an all Al body, door panels reinforced with a flax/sisal mat 20% weight saving achieved with Flax/Sisal thermoset door panels
  36. 36. Natural fibres in automotive applications Centre console trim Various damping and insulation parts C-pillar trim Rear parcel shelf Seat cushions Door trim panels Engine Shield Bumper Wheel arch IENICA (ref. 1495) Summary Report Fibre Crops August 2000
  37. 37. Astra, Vectra, Zafira Headliner panel, door panels, pillar cover panel, instrument panel Opel GM C70, V70 Volvo Golf, Passat, Bora Door panel, seat back, boot lid finish panel, boot liner Volkswagen Door panels, seat backs SEAT Door panels Saab Rover 2000 and others - Insulation, rear storage shelf/panel Rover Clio Renault New model 406 Peugeot Mondeo CD 162, Focus Door panels, B-pillar, boot liner Ford Punto, Brava/Marea, Alfa Romeo 146, 156 Fiat A, C, E and S-Class Door panels, windshield/dashboard, business table, pillar cover panel Daimler/Chrysler 3, 5 and 7 series and others Door panels, headliner panel, boot lining, seat backs BMW A2,A3, A4, A4 Avant, A6, A8, Roadster, Coupe Seat backs, side and back door panel, boot lining, hat rack, spare tyre lining Audi Model and Application Automotive Manufacturer
  38. 38. Plant fibre usage per vehicle <ul><li>Front door liners: 1.2-1.8Kg </li></ul><ul><li>Rear door liners: 0.8-1.5Kg </li></ul><ul><li>Boot liners: 1.5-2.5Kg </li></ul><ul><li>Parcel Shelves: <2Kg </li></ul><ul><li>Seat Backs: 1.6-2.0Kg </li></ul><ul><li>Sunroof Interior Shields: <0.4Kg </li></ul><ul><li>Headrests: ~2.5Kg </li></ul>
  39. 39. BMW <ul><li>3, 5 and 7 Series </li></ul><ul><li>20-24Kg of natural fibres </li></ul><ul><li>~16Kg coconut:sisal used as seat padding </li></ul><ul><li>80:20 flax:sisal blend for increased strength and impact resistance </li></ul>
  40. 40. Typical U.S. Materials 50 50 PP PP Kenaf Flax Other interior trim 50 50 PP PP Flax Wood Spare tyre covers 50 PP Flax Seatbacks 50 50 85 PP PP PP Kenaf Flax Wood Rear parcel shelves 50 50 PP PP Kenaf/Hemp, 50/50 Wood fibre Door panel/inserts % Fibre Matrix Fibre Application
  41. 41. Door Panels Interior Door panels using Natural Fibres (manufactured by DLR Germany) Chrysler Sebring convertible door panel – 25% Kenaf, 25% Hemp 50% PP Ford Mondeo door insert
  42. 42. DaimlerChrysler <ul><li>Exploring idea of replacing glass fibre with NF’s since 1991 </li></ul><ul><li>Subsidiary Mercedes-Benz pioneered concept with “Belem project” in Sao Paulo, Brazil (Amazon delta) </li></ul><ul><li>Coconut fibres used in commercial vehicles for 9 years </li></ul>
  43. 43. DaimlerChrysler <ul><li>2000 DC begins using NF in vehicle production in South Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Implemented transfer of technology from Germany to S.Africa for entire process chain </li></ul><ul><li>Sisal from local farmers to mat manufacturers to vehicle component supplies – none of these partners involved in sisal processing prior to this application </li></ul>
  44. 44. DC and South Africa Sisal Farmer in South Africa Sisal Fibres
  45. 45. <ul><li>Spent $1.5bn on environmental initiatives in 2000 alone </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers in Germany using NF’s to reinforce EXTERIOR components </li></ul><ul><li>A truck with flax-based rather than glass-based exterior skirting panels now in production </li></ul><ul><li>Tests carried out at DC research centre, Ulm panels stood up to impact without shattering into splinters </li></ul><ul><li>DC have a global natural fibre initiative program that benefits 3 rd world nations by developing products made from indigenous agricultural materials </li></ul>DaimlerChrysler
  46. 46. Exterior Applications Mercedes-Benz Travego Coach <ul><li>‘ Travego’ coach equipped with flax reinforced engine/transmission covers </li></ul><ul><li>Exterior components must be able to withstand extreme conditions – wetness and chipping </li></ul><ul><li>First use of NF’s for standard exterior components in a production vehicle </li></ul><ul><li>Represents a milestone in materials technology </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Weight reduction of engine/transmission cover of 10% </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cost reduction of 5% </li></ul></ul></ul>
  47. 47. European Perspective
  48. 48. U.K. Govt. Division DEFRA (MAFF) <ul><li>Study commissioned in 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Market for NFC has grown from nothing to a considerable industrial infrastructure during the last 5-10 years </li></ul><ul><li>58m vehicles produced globally </li></ul><ul><li>Up to 20Kg of NF’s could be used per car </li></ul><ul><li>Each new car model requires 1,000 to 3,000 tonnes of NF’s p.a. </li></ul><ul><li>1999 in excess of 15,000t of flax fibre being used in auto industry in Europe </li></ul>
  49. 49. Situation in 2000 <ul><li>European market for fibreglass composites ~300,000,000 Kg (2000) </li></ul><ul><li>1/3 in automotive applications </li></ul><ul><li>Cost £5.50/Kg </li></ul><ul><li>Natural fibres cost 0.30-0.35p/Kg </li></ul><ul><li>Significant cost reductions can be achieved </li></ul>
  50. 50. <ul><li>Germany occupies a totally dominant market position in terms of product innovation, research and commercial products </li></ul><ul><li>Germany is clearly the leading country in the consumption of natural fibres in the European Automotive industry [2/3 of all fibres] </li></ul><ul><li>Due to government subsidies in 80’s to stimulate the domestic growing of plants such as flax and hemp as industrial crops – did not lead to new markets but raised the profile of NF’s considerably </li></ul><ul><li>UK & France fall behind Germany </li></ul><ul><li>In Germany, car manufacturers are aiming to make EVERY component of their vehicles either recyclable or biodegradable* </li></ul>Germany *S. Hill, “Cars that grow on Trees”, New Scientist, Feb. 1997, pp.36-39
  51. 51. <ul><li>1982-2002 EU >$60m in subsidies directed towards development of new flax and hemp apps </li></ul><ul><li>In Germany alone >$104m invested in R&D – new harvesting, fibre processing and refining technologies </li></ul><ul><li>>$89m further investment planned in Germany </li></ul>M.Karus et al. “Study on Markets and Prices for Natural Fibres (Germany and EU)” Nova Institute, March 2000
  52. 52. European consumption of Natural fibres (tonnes) Projections* 2005 W-Europe 50-70,000t 2010 W-Europe >100,000t G.C. Ellinson, R,McNaught, “The use of natural fibres in nonwoven structures for applications as automotive component substrates”, MAFF UK Government report NF0309, Feb 2000 *D. Plackett, “The natural fibre-polymer composite industry in Europe – Technology and Markets”, Proc. Progress in woodfibre-plastic composites, Toronto, May 2002. Values for 2000 Germany 17140 Rest of Europe 11,160 Total 28,300
  53. 53. European Usage
  54. 54. Western Europe
  55. 55. European Potential <ul><li>World automobile production of 58m vehicles p.a. </li></ul><ul><li>30% is Western Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Potential market of 18m vehicles </li></ul><ul><li>Equates to 175,000-350,000 tonnes p.a. </li></ul><ul><li>Europe is ahead of North America in its use of natural fibre composite applications by ~8 years </li></ul>
  56. 56. <ul><li>Consuming Petroleum resources at an ‘unsustainable’ rate </li></ul><ul><li>100,000 times faster than nature can create it </li></ul><ul><li>Governments have established laws to encourage use of green or recycled products </li></ul>
  57. 57. EU legislation <ul><li>ELV directive [2000/53/EC] </li></ul><ul><li>Came into force Oct 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>All member states required to transpose into law by April 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Directive aims to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ depollute’ all scrapped cars ~10m/year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid hazardous waste </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce landfill to max 5%/car by 2015 </li></ul></ul>
  58. 58. Driving Force - Government Legislation <ul><li>Recycling concerns being driven by EU regulations </li></ul><ul><li>[EU directive Article 7 on end of life vehicle disposal] </li></ul><ul><li>Pressure on manufacturers to consider environmental impact of products at all stages of their life cycle including the ultimate disposal </li></ul>85 95 Jan 1 st 2015 80 85 Jan 1 st 2005 Recycling Wt % Recovery Wt %
  59. 59. Driving Forces <ul><li>Cost </li></ul><ul><li>Weight reduction </li></ul><ul><li>Crash worthiness </li></ul><ul><li>Sound insulation </li></ul><ul><li>Green products </li></ul><ul><li>Recycling </li></ul>
  60. 60. European Research <ul><li>Automotive Industry e.g. SAAB and Research Institutions collaborating on EU growth projects </li></ul><ul><li>“ EcoFina” </li></ul><ul><li>Addresses the substitution of mineral fillers and fibres made with organic matrices, by Polymeric Matrix composites based on annually renewable natural fibres </li></ul><ul><li>Allow for the production of vehicle components with potentially complete recyclability </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>D. Puglia, J. Biagiotti, J.M.Kenny, “ECOFINA: Ecoefficient Technologies and Products based on Natural Fibre Composites”, Proceedings of ECCM-10, June 3-7 2002, Brugge </li></ul>
  61. 61. United States Perspective
  62. 62. <ul><li>Total (All sectors) NF demand North America </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1980 = 47.62M Kg </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1990 = 52.16M Kg </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>North America in 2000 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>181m Kg of natural fibres used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>3.5% (5.9-6.8m Kg) e.g. flax, hemp, kenaf </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>96.5% Wood flour and fibre </li></ul></ul></ul>
  63. 63. U.S. End Markets (2000)
  64. 64. Forecast <ul><li>Growth outlook for natural fibres in automotive products 2000-2005 50% per year* </li></ul><ul><li>$150M (2000) to $1.4bn (2005) North America alone!! [54% annual growth rate] </li></ul><ul><li>Market in 2005 will require 45.45M Kg of natural fibres </li></ul><ul><li>Processing and weight benefits compared to glass fibres will particularly drive the growth of NF’s </li></ul>*Kline and Company Inc., report 2000
  65. 65. U.S. Companies <ul><li>Flexform Technologies LLC </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blends Kenaf, Hemp and PP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses – door panels, dashboards, ceiling tiles, wall panels, z-truss structures for load floors in RV’s </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Demand is high among Tier 1 suppliers (2001) expected to double by end of 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Users include GM, Ford, Chrysler, International Truck, Mack Truck, Volvo Truck </li></ul><ul><li>2003 dodge viper door panels and console made from flexform mats </li></ul>
  66. 66. U.S. Companies <ul><li>Kenaf industries of South Texas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Produces wide range of kenaf products </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Johnson Controls Tier 1 automotive supplier </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Began looking at nat.fibre composites for interior door panels 10 years ago </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developed EcoCor – 50:50 NF:PP 50% hemp, 50% kenaf </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Used in full door panel of 2001 Chrysler sebring </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Findlay Industries (tier 1) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Door package trays, trunk liners & hard trim (kenaf/PP blends) </li></ul></ul>
  67. 67. Non-automotive research <ul><li>TeelGRT </li></ul><ul><li>Based in Baraboo, Wisconsin </li></ul><ul><li>Using Jute, Sisal, Wood, Coir, flax, straw, kenaf and denim </li></ul><ul><li>Plastic wood, tables, shipping pallets and piggy banks </li></ul>
  68. 68. Example of U.S. Research <ul><li>Prof. Wool (Univ. of Delaware) recently awarded (2001) $11m (over 4 yrs) from US department of Energy to develop ALL natural composites </li></ul><ul><li>One current project – development of a monolithic, aerodynamically shaped roof for hurricane resistant housing. Made from NF’s, natural foam insulation and soy-based resins </li></ul>
  69. 69. <ul><li>Interesting to note that 350,000,000 Kg of flax worth US$ 400m is converted to US$ 3bn worth of finished goods as value is added along the production chain </li></ul>
  70. 70. In Summary
  71. 71. World Potential <ul><li>58m vehicles produced p.a. </li></ul><ul><li>Max natural fibre consumption 50:50 natural:synthetic ~800,000 tonnes/year </li></ul><ul><li>If each vehicle used every possible application of Nf’s </li></ul>
  72. 72. Advantages to using Bast Fibres in the Auto Industry <ul><ul><ul><li>Reduction in weight between 12-30% (primary importance) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reduction in cost (secondary importance) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Renewable and sustainable plant fibre resources </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recyclable </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Abundant supply, accessible to car manufacture areas </li></ul></ul></ul>
  73. 73. Conclusions <ul><li>Natural fibres have enormous potential to be used in composites for automotive industry </li></ul><ul><li>Offer cost savings , environmental benefits and reduced component weight </li></ul><ul><li>Issues of toughness and variable properties must be resolved in order that these composites see more widespread use </li></ul><ul><li>NF products are NOT confined to the automotive industry </li></ul>
  74. 74. …the future… <ul><li>“ The car of the future could be moulded from cashew nut oil and hemp. And that’s not all. In the boot could be a set of golf clubs built around Jute fibres, nestling next to a tennis racket stiffened with coconut hair. The bicycle frames strapped to the flax-based roof rack may derive their strength from any one of the 2000 other suitable plants. The truth is, natural fibres are undergoing a high tech revolution that could see them replace synthetic materials in many diverse applications” </li></ul>S. Hill, “Cars that grow on trees”, New Scientist, Feb 1997. pp.36-39
  75. 75. Partners & Publicity Cartoon courtesy of Western Australian Newspaper [22/05/01] <ul><li>Collaborative programme with University of New South Wales, Sydney (Australia) </li></ul><ul><li>Objective – to produce a lightweight natural composite car suitable for use as an inner city taxi </li></ul>
  76. 76. Future Work <ul><li>Survey into other sectors </li></ul><ul><li>Construction of item of sports equipment </li></ul><ul><li>NATURAL FIBERS, BIOPOLYMERS & THEIR BIOCOMPOSITES (Editors: A. K. Mohanty, M. Misra, L. T. Drzal) Publisher: CRC Press Expected Date December 2003 </li></ul>
  77. 77. Acknowledgements <ul><li>Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for funding the research </li></ul><ul><li>The many people who contributed to the survey </li></ul><ul><li>FAO, and </li></ul><ul><li>To your goodselves for listening </li></ul>
  78. 78. muito obrigada e qualquer questões?