NC State
BioResources
Yao, J., Hu, Y., and Lu, W. (2012). "A wood replacement material of sandwich structure using coir fiber mats and fiberglass fabrics as core layer," BioRes. 7(1), 663-674.

Abstract

The tensile strength and bending strength of natural coir fiber are lower than many other natural fibers. Therefore, coir fiber is unsuitable for many fiber reinforcement applications. This study exploits the better shock resistance and toughness of coir fiber, which suggest that coir fiber can be used as a type of replacement material in plywood. Fast-growing poplar was chosen as the surface material, and coir fiber was selected as the core layer material for their buffering ability and toughness, and fiberglass fabrics were added in the core layer as strengthening components. The optimization of this plywood structure was carried out with an orthogonal experiment and the intuitive analysis method. The mechanical performance of some samples even exceeded that of natural wood. Through analysis of test results and scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations, the buffering and toughening mechanisms of the coir fiber mats were revealed. This new material can be used to replace wood in plywood and in the transportation industry as a packaging material and as platform floors for freight vehicles.
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