Natural Fibres '09 - Keynote - Natural Fibre Composites with 3D Woven Reinforcement for New Application Areas

Julie Soden

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


    This research pioneers 3D woven natural fibre composites using epoxy and bio-derived resin matrix systems. A higher-specification eco-composite material, resin processed via the VARTM method with specific structural characteristics has been produced. With enhanced properties in the through-the-thickness orientation, these can be assigned for trial in a variety of prototype applications.The conference was a large representation across the industry spectrum for anyone developing or using materials that can contribute to a low carbon economy. The conference was opened by Lord Hunt, the Government minister for the Dept of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and included major keynote contributions from global researchers in the various sectors from USA, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australasia. Coinciding with the International Year of Natural Fibres, it was supported by leading government networks. This keynote was approached from a European technical textile perspective where the author’s expertise acquired during deployment in aerospace materials research was redirected to enable the introduction of structural materials into natural fibre composite (NFC) domains. It acknowledged current textile Industry provision and discussed barriers to uptake to produce differentiated and high performance NFC parts, including performance expectations against industry standard non-woven felt materials. It acknowledged the necessity of non-food crop development of plant fibre materials in line with the EU directives on ‘end of life’ disposal. Fabric prototypes provided insight into the construction of multiple layer woven fabrics emphasising the design parameters that govern their ability to be manufactured at Industrial production volume scales and quantities. This was achieved via collaboration with Industrial weave manufacturers in the USA and UK. One material presented was a pre-commercialisation demonstrator. A prototype bargeboard component developed in conjunction with the International Automotive Research Centre at University of Warwick, produced for the Worlds First Sustainable Racing Car in 2009 ( - a credible multiple partner project.The research discussed in the keynote was selected for publication in a special issue of the Journal of Biomaterials and Bioenergy in June 2010.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
    EditorsBrett Suddell
    PublisherInstitute of Materials, Minerals and Mining
    Number of pages25
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 14 Dec 2009
    EventNatural Fibres '09: Materials for a Low Carbon Future - Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, Carlton Terrace, London, UK
    Duration: 14 Dec 2009 → …


    ConferenceNatural Fibres '09: Materials for a Low Carbon Future
    Period14/12/09 → …

    Bibliographical note

    Publication of some slides used in keynote restricted due to copyright or confidentiality


    • Textile Fibres
    • Weave Production
    • Flax
    • Textile Reinforcement
    • Natural Fibre Composites


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