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Stronger than steel are biodegradable wood pulp fibers- VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 12 June 2014 02:00

A group of scientists from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm was the first who created wood pulp fibers. The new material can be used as a biodegradable replacement for many substances used today in the industry, such as polyester, fiberglass or metal. The uniqueness of the material is the ease method thereof: for "cooking" biodegradable fibers requires water, wood pulp and salt. The team took the individual cellulose fibers and break them into their component strands called fibrils. Then again every thread tied with others, but not in their natural configuration, and in a special way, giving the fiber strength of wire rope. In previous studies, scientists have successfully separated to separate the cellulose fibers and fibrils are even used to strengthen their composite materials. But the reconfiguration of the fiber structure previously could not be anyone that makes Swedish pioneers. "We have learned from natural fibrils of cellulose fibers, and then gathered them again in a very strong thread. Resulting fiber has a diameter of 10-20 micrometers, that is, it is almost thick as a human hair," - says the study's lead author Fredrik Lundell. Fibril assembly after mixing with water and sodium chloride was carried out using a special device "focusing flow" (flow-focusing), similar to an extrusion die in 3D-printer. Careful adjustment of pressure when applying flow has created a solid sequential fiber fibrils. The strength and stiffness of the final product depends not only on the level of pressure during extrusion, but also on the angle at which fibrils are connected to the fiber. For example, if the fibrils are oriented parallel to each other, the material will rigid and inflexible, and if they are joined at an angle relative to each other, the material will be more resilient and flexible. Authors methods argue that their biodegradable fibers can replace cotton in the textile industry, or even an alternative to glass filaments used in the manufacture of fiberglass. The new material is more eco-friendly, which gives him a distinct advantage over peers. "Our task today is to scale up the production process. We must keep up the fiber to produce on an industrial scale and do it much faster than it is today," - concludes Lundell in a press release. About technology commercialization speech does not go, but in the absence of visible defects biodegradable fibers can become part of daily production process in many industries. Detail the method of construction ultraprochnyh wood fibers is described in an article in Nature Communications, VIDEO:

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