Sunstrand provides natural fibers in non-wood fiber composites.

Companies use natural fibers in polymer composites mainly due to their environment-friendly properties. However, the demand for Natural Fiber Composites (NFCs) is growing due to their formability, abundance, renewability, cost-effectiveness, and environment-friendly features.

Natural fibers and resins are combined in the manufacturing of NFC’s. The resins typically used are polypropylene, polyethylene, epoxy, and polyester. Although the other raw materials cost less, resins like polypropylene and polyethylene are expensive. Many companies are now in favor of partially substituting polypropylene for hemp, kenaf, and other natural fiber.

Compression molding is the most common manufacturing process for composite sheets like these, as it is less expensive than most others. Manufacturers supply NFC’s to a number of end-use industries, such as building and construction, automotive, electrical and electronics. Products in these industries include door panels, seat backs, laptop cases, bicycle frames, and more.

Major advantages of using Sunstrand fibers in composites include:

  • Natural fibers are renewable
  • Low cost of production and low energy consumption
  • NFC’s have a high specific strength and stiffness
  • When subjected to heat, NFC’s emit significantly less toxic gas compared to synthetic fiber composites. This is yet another environmental advantage.
  • The damage caused to the processing equipment is also less in comparison to synthetic fiber composites
  • NFC’s have less density, which helps in the weight reduction
  • Potential cost reduction