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Irradiation of Henequen Natural Fibers for Micromorphilogical Improvements.

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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-31-09 03:38 AM
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Irradiation of Henequen Natural Fibers for Micromorphilogical Improvements.
In the area of materials science, natural fibers still constitute an extremely important raw material and turn up in surprising places.

For instance, a major component of many forms of highly stress resistant concrete are formulated with lignocellulose, a product that can be derived from woody plants. If the woody plants are grown with a suitable near sustainable way, they can represent a method of defacto sequestration of carbon, although the calcium carbonate component of concrete will probably overwhelm such fibers if dangerous fossil fuels are used to produce lime. Still, no matter how expensive in dangerous fossil fuel waste dumping terms terms lime is, a fiber reinforcement can certainly natural fiber reinforncement use represent a partials offset of environmental damage from it. Also the use of natural fibers competes with dangerous fossil fuel derived fibres like polyethylene, the long term of stability of which represents a significant wast problem around the world.

The properties of fibres in use can be improved by surface modification or by removal of some plant components, such as non-celluosic species like waxes and in some cases lignins.

Often this modifications involve a risk in themselves, in terms of solvents and the like.

Recently fibers from the cultivated plant Henequen have been treated with electron beam radiation to improve mechanical properties. The work, by Korean Scientists, Hae Young Choi, Seong Ok Han, Jung Soon Lee, at the Korea Institute of Energy Research, and the Department of Clothing and Textiles at Korea's Chungnam University evaluated ways to improve its properties through irradiation with electron beams.

The abstract of a paper reporting it is here: Applied Surface Science 255 (2008) 24662473

Some excerpts:

1. Introduction
Cellulose is the most abundant natural polymer and has been used as a renewable raw material in a wide range of applications, such as paper, wood, and textile manufacturing <1>. Cellulosic fibers, such as flax, hemp, jute, and henequen, have been applied for composites as fiber reinforcements in recent years. Natural fibers have the advantages of low density, low cost, recyclability,biodegradability, and good mechanical properties compared with traditional reinforcement material such as glass fiber. In spite of the advantages of these natural fibers, the processing of polymer composites with natural fibers has not been considered due to various limiting issues, e.g., poor surface properties for association with the polymer matrix and the degradation of mechanical properties. These problems can be overcome by chemical or mechanical processing of the natural fibers <26>.

The advantages of modifying fibers by using electron beam irradiation are that no chemicals are used, the process can be done at room temperature, and the reactions that occur are nonpolluting(solvent-free) <7,8>. Because of these advantages, research on the application of electron beam irradiation in fiber and textile technologies has been conducted on the modification of cellulose<9>. High dose electron beam irradiation of cellulose resulted in the dehydrogenation and destruction of anhydroglucose, while cross-linking was occurred at low irradiation dose <1012>.

4. Conclusion
The effects of different doses of electron beam irradiation on the surfaces of henequen fibers were investigated. The cell wall layers of the henequen fibers were found to have a concentric amella structure built up of individual cellulose fibril aggregates. The surface morphology of henequen fiber was changed by electron beam irradiation resulting from the removal of pectin, axy and P layer at a low intensity of 10 kGy. From 0 kGy to 30 kGy, the RMS values were increased and show the highest value at the 30 kGy. It means that the exposure of S2 by electron beam irradiation shows the distinctive striation. With increasing of dose of electron beam irradiation, RMS values decreased due to the degradation of the S2 layer. The uneven surface esulting from electron beam irradiation may play a significant role for the adhesion between henequen fibers and the polymer matrix of the composite

There is no reference to gamma irradiation.

Hennequin is not as wildly used as sisal, of which about 240,000 MT, about half of which is raised in Brazil. While every little bit helps, it doesn't compare in scale to the 27 billion tons of dangeros fossil fuel waste dumped into the atmosphere each year.
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Dead_Parrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-31-09 06:18 AM
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1. There's some interesting posibilities with papercrete...
...and similar. Not irradiated, but using the pulped fibers from recycled paper or wood chippings is relatively carbon neutral, not too energy intensive and gives a good strong product. Dunno if the locked in carbon off-sets the lime.

Meanwhile, the Japanese have found concrete made is horsehair is particularly earthquake proof. I assume the Hemp-can-do-anything crowd are working on something similar.

In related news, the walls of the Moscow Kremlin were built with egg white in the mortar. 514 years of bouncing cannon balls and nazis (so far).
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Fledermaus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-31-09 08:52 AM
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2. If its not nuclear, its CRAP!
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-31-09 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. In energy terms, this is certainly the case, since nuclear energy, while not perfect
is vastly superior to all other forms of energy.

However in materials science there are many places where biological materials are important, wood for instance and, um, fibers.

There are many places with radiochemistry can play an important role. However, if you knew any nuclear science - and almost everyone who objects to nuclear power, 100% of the people on this site who raise objections from what I can guess, object to nuclear science because they are wholly ignorant of it - one would recognize that this paper has nothing at all to do with nuclear power or nuclear fission.

It involves electron beams and the relationship to nuclear power is the same as the relationship of dental x-rays to nuclear power reactors.

I do assume that all of the dumb fundie anti-nukes on this website avoid dental x-rays, CT scans, body x-rays, Tc-99m imagining, radon seeds for prostrate cancer treatment, etc.

It would be consistent with their cult mentalities and their ignorant appeals to fear.

This kind of fear is not limited to nuclear science by the way. Anti-vaccine ignorance is gaining huge head ground. Many people may die this winter from it. It is amazing how mass communications are used so widely to spread fear, ignorance and stupidity. Startling really.

If I ruled the world, I would examine the case in the OP using radiation from fission products, except I can think of many even more valuable ways to use these incredible resources that are disused in the same way that many other technologies have been disused because of mysticism and superstition.
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