The development of aligned natural fibre reinforced composites utilising biobased thermosets is an essential step towards the manufacture of ecofriendly composite systems. In many cases, the matrix system, which is usually oil based in nature, is disregarded. Therefore, a new fully biobased thermoset composite with aligned flax fibre textiles was developed using a bioderived matrix resin. The thermoset furan resin has recently received interest due to its good environmental profile containing no petrochemicals, using water as solvent and biomass as raw material. The new resin also shows good mechanical performance and excellent fire resistance. In the present study, aligned natural fibre textiles, randomly oriented natural fibre textiles and glass fibre textiles have been hand laid up and impregnated with the furan resin to form prepregs. After precuring, the prepregs were consolidated into composites using an industrial scale compression moulding machine, and their material properties were analysed. The density was calculated by using a computed microtomography system, and tensile tests were carried out. Besides the mechanical properties, the burning and the moisture absorption behaviour have been determined. © Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining 2011.
- Light strong materials for energy purposes