Submitted to: International Journal of Nonwovens
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2004
Publication Date: 3/1/2005
Citation: Kamath, M.G., Bhat, G.S., Parikh, D.V., Mueller, D. 2005. Cotton fiber nonwovens for automotive composites. International Journal of Nonwovens. V. 75. p. 134-138. Interpretive Summary: Due to environmental issues, and with the increased cost of landfill, there is a strong need for the natural fiber based automotive interiors. The focus of this study was to produce compostable cotton fiber-based composites that can be safely disposed off without polluting the environment. The binder fibers are required to form natural fiber based mouldable composites. In the present study, we used biodegradable binder fibers, namely, PLA and BioPET. More and more of these composites will be used in the automobile interiors because of their complete biodegradability.
Technical Abstract: With increasing demand for automobiles in the global mareket, and a simultaneous pressure to address the issue of sustainability, there is continuing need for the incorporation of natural fiber based materials into automotives. The focus of recent research has been to produce compostable cotton fiber-based composites that can be safely disposed off after their intended use without polluting the atmosphere, in an environmentally safe manner. It is evident from studies being done jointly at the University of Tennessee, University of Bremen, Germany and USDA, New Orleans, that by suitably combining cotton and other natural cellulosic fibers, with an appropriate biodegradable binder fiber in the right combination a moldable nonwoven fabric can be produced. Results from these studies addressing the structure and properties of the composites, with respect to their suitability for automotive applications are discussed.