- story by MaterialDistrict
Flax are natural fibres used in the manufacturing of technical textiles and nonwovens, characterised by high durability, robustness and great tensile strength. Through their natural strengthening qualities, their low weight compared to carbon or glass fibers, as well as their vibrant absorbing properties, flax fibers have many attributes which can be capitalized in composites.
In order to achieve a better uniformity of the fibers used, the long flax fibers can be processed to shorter staple fibers to increase their quality level. The specific fiber properties may also lead to special machinery adjustments in the area of the spunlace technology.
Thanks to the UV resistance of the flax fibers, their positive eco-balance as well as their natural aspect, flax fibers can be used in the home furnishing market, as for example as sun shades. In the construction industry, flax fibers are used as high breathable roofing membranes. Since flax is exceptionally tear resistant and robust, which make the fibers tough, hard-wearing and long lasting, it represents a valuable alternative to synthetically manufactured membranes in the roofing sector. For a 125 g/m2 weight nonwoven material made of 100% flax, a tensile strength value of 220 N/5 cm is achieved. If a scrim made of natural fibers or fiberglass is additionally included into the nonwoven material, tensile strength values can be achieved that are far beyond those of the scrim by itself. When using a 135 g/m2 weighted nonwoven material with a fiberglass scrim, the tensile strength value is 955 N/5 cm (see table).
If flax is used within composites that use natural resins only, the product advantages are more evident. Apart from having a strong product solution, the good recyclability of the fiber allows the reutilization of the material as for example as cellulose paper.