Table of Contents
Journal of Composites
Volume 2013, Article ID 416501, 4 pages
Research Article

Characterisation of Natural Fibre Reinforcements and Composites

Advanced Composites Manufacturing Centre, School of Marine Science and Engineering, Reynolds Building, Plymouth University, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK

Received 18 October 2013; Accepted 25 November 2013

Academic Editor: Masamichi Kawai

Copyright © 2013 Richard K. Cullen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recent EU directives (e.g., ELV and WEEE) have caused some rethinking of the life cycle implications of fibre reinforced polymer matrix composites. Man-made reinforcement fibres have significant ecological implications. One alternative is the use of natural fibres as reinforcements. The principal candidates are bast (plant stem) fibres with flax, hemp, and jute as the current front runners. The work presented here will consider the characterisation of jute fibres and their composites. A novel technique is proposed for the measurement of fibre density. The new rule of mixtures, extended for noncircular cross-section natural fibres, is shown to provide a sensible estimate for the experimentally measured elastic modulus of the composite.