Biodegradable Fibers As Strong As Steel Made from Wood Cellulose

Biodegradable Fibers As Strong As Steel Made from Wood Cellulose


Jun 25, 2014
Biodegradable fibers as strong as steel Steel is considered to be the strongest element existing in this universe. With strong and sturdy properties, it became very difficult to come up with any other element equivalent to the strength of steel. But a recent research conducted by a team of young professionals working in KTH Royal Institute of technology at Stockholm revealed about their latest development. They have invented a way of making cellulose fibers that are way stronger and powerful than steel. These cellulose fibers are also known as biodegradable fibers. Similarly a team from Wallenberg Wood Science Center has claimed this new cellulose fiber to be capable of utilizing as a biodegradable replacement. The fiber can be utilized by materials that have been developed from imperishable items like metal, plastic and fiberglass. Cellulose fibers can be easily developed with the help of wood cellulose, water and common table salt. In order to manufacture a novel element, the research team at Stockholm collected single cellulose fibers and broke them up into different components known as fibrils. Post this process, the team again separated these fibrils and rebounded them. This leads to a stronger fiber than the original one. This process is an altogether novel experiment which has never happened before. These fibrils are powerful enough to strengthen the hold of composite materials. One of the team member in research, Fredrik Lundell said, “We have taken out fibrils from natural cellulose fibers, then we have assembled fibrils again into very strong filament. It is about 10 to 20 microns thick, much like a strand of hair.” The research team has developed a flow focusing device. This device appears to be a similar one like a small scale extruder. This device is used to reassemble the fibrils post mixing them with sodium chloride and water. Reassembling the fibrils and adjusting the pressure carefully, the team was able to develop strands of fiber emitting from fibrils on continuous and consistent basis. The durability, power, strength and rigidity of the fibre is determined after all the fibrils are brought at an angle and then manipulated. If the fibrils appear to align successfully besides one another, then they are termed as rigid and sturdy. However, if the fibrils combine to each other at angles, then they are termed as flexible and elastic. The useful impact of these fibrils is that it would not only produce steel like fibers but would also develop more fibrous type’s fibers as well. Wood Cellulose is very strong and effective. It could aid in replacing cotton in textiles. The cellulose fibers can also be used to replace glass filaments for constructing boats and cars. Once the new material gets back its real cellulose, the biodegradable properties would still be there. Lundell also added, “Our research may lead to a new construction material that can be used anywhere where you have components based on glass fibers, and there are quite a few place. The challenge we face now is to scale up the production process. We must be able to make long strands, many threads in parallel – and all this much faster than today. Nevertheless, we have demonstrated that we know how this should be done, so we’ve come a long way.”

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