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Materials & Assembly
Cellulose Could Replace Short Glass Fibers in Composites
10/15/2012

A new thermoplastic composite uses engineered cellulose fiber from trees, such as these logs in Kuopio, Finland, instead of the short glass fibers usually used for reinforcement. Applications include automotive parts and industrial components.   (Source: Wikimedia Commons/Okko Pyykko)
A new thermoplastic composite uses engineered cellulose fiber from trees, such as these logs in Kuopio, Finland, instead of the short glass fibers usually used for reinforcement. Applications include automotive parts and industrial components.
(Source: Wikimedia Commons/Okko Pyykkö)

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Water absorbtion
Ann R. Thryft   11/5/2012 12:16:00 PM
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Jerry, that poly-cotton mix sounds like what I liked best for hiking clothes in my backpacking days. Cotton was supposed to be a no-no among backpacking enthusiasts because it takes so long to dry, either when wearing it, or when washing it at the campsite. But I found 100% polyester and other non-natural clothing to be too hot and sticky for comfort, no matter how it was made.



Jerry dycus
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Re: Water absorbtion
Jerry dycus   10/30/2012 11:07:10 PM
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  Just as bad is it melting on the skin then when you slap it to put it out it sticks to the hand and spreads sticking to the skin where it was buring/melting.  Not a good way to go.  

 

Living in Fla pure polyster is just too hot and uncomfortable in the summer.  Though I really like rayon which is about the most comfortable cloth usually, slightly better than cotton and doesn't seem as flamable as polyester or nylon.  A good 65% cotton, 35% polyster works fairly well and cuts the problems of pure cotton or pure poly.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Water absorbtion
Ann R. Thryft   10/30/2012 7:54:44 PM
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That's an interesting story about polyester vs cotton and the flammability of natural vs synthetic materials. I remember as a kid in the 50s-60s hearing about the flammability of synthetic clothing material, which, I believe, is when many of the standards were developed for clothing material flammability.

Jerry dycus
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Re: Water absorbtion
Jerry dycus   10/26/2012 6:38:28 PM
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  Sounds like a waste product they are trying to find a use for.  From the specs it's rreally just a filler pounded into dust so fine it won't show on the surface.

 It's flamability is higher because it's so fine but the resin is more flamable so the point is moot.  Wood actually is far less flamable than synthetic ones.  The navy went to all polyster uniforms until they went up in flames regretfully with sailors in them so they switched back to cotton blends I believe. 

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Water absorbtion
Rob Spiegel   10/22/2012 8:41:16 PM
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Good point, Ann. My guess is there are plenty of savings up and down the road on this technology.

Scott Orlosky
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Re: Local materials
Scott Orlosky   10/19/2012 5:38:11 PM
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Ann, really ejoyed the article.  Whenever we can repurpose natural and renewable resources as replacements for energy intensive manufactured goods it moves us in the right direction. Thanks.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Water absorbtion
Ann R. Thryft   10/18/2012 7:45:20 PM
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Rob, I also figure that paper is a lot cheaper than glass, so these have got to be cheaper as fibers, plus they start out as fibers, which glass does not.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Local materials
Ann R. Thryft   10/17/2012 12:07:50 PM
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Lou, I understand your POV on US materials sources. Actually Weyerhaeuser owns forests in various parts of the world and expects to source cellulose from them as needed. Forests that can be harvested for wood products in northern temperate zones (there aren't many in southern ones) are no longer as common as you might think, including in the US.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Water absorbtion
Rob Spiegel   10/16/2012 2:29:27 PM
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Ann, that's what I was thinking as well. Yet the process savings alone could make a big difference in giving cellulose a chance in the market.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Water absorbtion
Ann R. Thryft   10/16/2012 11:58:49 AM
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Rob, we didn't get info on the fiber/glass cost differential, but considering that Weyerhauser's main business is wood pulp and wood products, I'd guess it's probably cheaper than glass.

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