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Researchers develop bio-composite material from date palm fiber
A team of researchers, led by the University of Portsmouth (Hampshire, UK), have developed a bio-composite material using date palm fiber waste material that can be used in non-structural parts, such as car bumpers and door linings. The team also involved researchers from the University of Cambridge (Cambridge, UK), agricultural science research institute INRA (Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Paris, France) and University of Brittany, South (Morbihan, France).
The date palm fiber polycaprolactone (PCL) bio-composite is said to be fully biodegradable, renewable, sustainable and recyclable. In a study, published in the journal Industrial Crops and Products, the researchers tested the mechanical properties of the bio-composite. They found that the date palm fiber PCL had increased tensile strength and achieved good low-velocity impact resistance when compared to traditional man-made composites.
Dr Hom Dhakal, who leads the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing (AMM) Research Group at the University of Portsmouth and co-author of the study, says, “Investigating the suitability of date palm ﬁber waste biomass as reinforcement in lightweight composite materials provides a tremendous opportunity of utilizing this material to develop low-cost, sustainable and lightweight biocomposites.” Date palm fibers are one of the most available natural fibers in North Africa and the Middle East.