Greetings from Ziveli!
Here is another one of our blogs from our natural fibre series.
Ever wondered how your Manila Envelopes are made???
Well… They are made of Abaca pulp.
Abaca, also known as Manila hemp is a close relative of the banana plant.
It is an important natural fibre in the leaf fibre group.
Harvesting Abaca is laborious. Each stalk must be cut into strips which are scraped to remove the pulp. The fibres are then washed and dried.
During the 19th century abaca was widely used for ships’ rigging, and pulped to make sturdy manila envelopes. Today, it is still used to make ropes, twines, fishing lines and nets, as well as coarse cloth for sacking. There is also a flourishing niche market for abaca clothing, curtains, screens and furnishings, but paper-making is currently the main use of the fibre.
Did you know…?
Currently abaca is being used for ‘soft’ applications in the automotive industry as a filling material for bolster and interior trim parts. However given its strong tensile strength it can also be used for ‘harder’ applications for exterior semi-structure components as a substitute for glass fibre in reinforced plastic components.
Mercedes Benz has used a mixture of polypropylene thermoplastic and abaca yarn in automobile body parts. Replacing glass fibres by natural fibres can reduce the weight of automotive parts and facilitates more environmentally friendly production and recycling of the parts.
Owing to the extremely high mechanical strength of the fibre as well as its length, application of abaca even in highly stressed components offers great potential for different industrial applications.
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