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Vegetal fibers composite material

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The growing interest in industry for flax fiber composites is due to their damping capacity, higher than that of conventional composites (carbon fiber, glass or Kevlar). The flax fiber composite is a multiscale material. It consists of a fiber bundle network, which is possibly twisted and embedded in a resin. The difficulty in making perfect fiber interface/resin results in the flax fiber composites with significant level of porosity. Moreover, the fibers and flax fiber bundles have a very high affinity with water, which acts as a plasticizer. The fibers are multilayer and each layer consists of cellulose chains, interconnected by pectin and hemicelluloses, altogether, this forms a complex architecture "onion" with an empty heart (the lumen). The origin of high damping properties of flax fiber composites is currently not well understood. It result come from different scales of materials assembly which go from the micro-fibrillated cellulose (about 10 nm) to the macro-porosity of the order of one millimeter. The understanding of the damping provided by flax fibers composites is one of the PM2E team’s main research topics. To this end, a bench for measuring resonance modes of plant fibers, laser ultrasonic resonance spectroscopy was developed in collaboration with the LAUM (UMR 6613 at Le Mans). In parallel, resonance simulations of single fibers are investigated.

Résonance simulée pour une fibre de lin selon un mode de Rayleigh
Rayleigh mode simulated resonance for flax fiber

JEC Innovation Award 2010

As part of its collaboration with HUNSTMAN, ARTENGO and LINEO NV companies, researchers from the CIMAP - PM2E won the JEC 2010 Innovation Award in the category bio-based materials. The award was for our multi-partner collaboration which led to the development of the first tennis racket reinforced with bio-based composites.