Manufacture and Testing of 3D Woven Natural Fibre Composites

Julie Soden, Graeme Stewart, Donna Campbell, Alistair McIlhagger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
192 Downloads (Pure)


This cross-discipline collaborative paper reports new developments in the design, manufacture and testing of 3D reinforced natural fibre woven composites with structural strength potential. It discusses the 3D weave architectures used, details the VARTM composite processing method and highlights the challenges of producing structural thermoset epoxy composites from naturally derived yarns such as flax and viscose rayon. It also introduces 3D woven composites embedded in a bio-derived resin and offers initial mechanical property data for these materials.This conference paper and oral presentation disseminated some milestone goals reached during an AHRC funded research project developing natural fibre composite materials (AHE007953/1 2007-09). This was a cross-discipline joint faculty collaboration between textile design and engineering composites within UU. Its International reach is evident through significant collaborations with (patent-holding) resin developers Prof R Wool (Centre Composite Materials, University Delaware, USA) and Transfuran Chemicals BVBA, Belgium. The intended application area is the engineering field.Selected from over 1500 abstracts submitted for ICCM-17, a major conference within the field with 1000+ global delegates, and 8+ plenary sessions running in parallel over 5 days. The paper was presented alongside leaders in the technical textiles field (Sir John Hearle, Director of the Textile Institute UK, 3Tex Inc, USA). Woven fabric and resin impregnation were customised in accordance with manufacturers technical recommendations to produce quality materials for a mechanical test programme. The mechanical test methods are scientifically verified against ISO Standard criteria. Naturally derived fibres (flax,viscose rayon) and bio-resins derived from crop oils (Soy-bean) and hemi-cellulose sugars (Furan) are essential new materials the author has developed (in collaboration with resin manufacturers) attempting to match the properties that glass and flax fibre/epoxy composites attained. These 3D woven, natural fibre bio-resin composites use materials which had not been produced together as the resin was still in commercial infancy and was customised to enable these composites to be fabricated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherInstitute of Materials, Minerals and Mining
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 27 Jul 2009
EventICCM-17 International Conference on Composite Materials - EICC Edinburgh International Conference Centre
Duration: 27 Jul 2009 → …


ConferenceICCM-17 International Conference on Composite Materials
Period27/07/09 → …


  • 3D Woven
  • Natural Fibre
  • Fibre Reinforced Composites


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