14/04/2021 – STFI: R&D-project — auf Deutsch lesen

Biogenic Heavy Tows based on hemp bast bark

An article by Elke Thiele, Corinna Falck, STFI e.V and Maik Wonneberger, Invent GmbH.


Kemafil/biogene heavy tows © STFI


Hemp bast as base matetial for bio-based heavy tows © STFI


Goal of the completed R&D-project was the processing of hemp bast bark to obtain unidirectional as well as multidirectional non crimp fabrics for the manufacture of high performance composite parts. The project consortium was focused for the best possible mechanical properties by processing the hemp material without damage during fiber treatment to transfer the initial performance of the natural fiber plant towards the laminate. Ambition of the project team was to reach a mechanical performance comparable with glass fiber laminates.

The project included the whole process chain:

  • establishment of customized fiber harvesting and fiber treatment processes without essential fiber damage

  • sizing of the bast segments and joining to obtain continuous fiber material

  • development of technology to manufacture two-dimensional fiber materials like non crimp fabrics

  • qualification and validation of biogenic polymers to be used as matrix for the hemp bast bark fabrics to manufacture bio-based composites

  • design and manufacture of bio-composite demonstrators do verify and assess the new developed technology

  • definition of recycling concepts for production waste and end-of-life products composed of hemp bast bark and biogenic polymers

The benefits of the collaborative project are:

  • substitution of high price high tech fiber products by natural fiber based textiles

  • development of comprehensive end-of-life concepts for high performance bio-composites

  • development of a strategy for the future industrialization of the bio materials

  • more efficient use of resources compared to the state of the art

  • waste-to-energy concepts for al material components after product life

Coordinator of the project was the company Invent GmbH located in Braunschweig (SME, composite technology), project partners were Hanffaser Uckermark, Prenzlau (SME, hemp fiber processing), Technitex Sachsen GmbH, Chemnitz (SME, design and manufacture of textile machines) as well as the STFI e.V., Chemnitz (RTD institute for textile technology and composite technology). The Project “Biogene Heavy Tows” was founded by the federal ministry of education and research (BMBF) in the framework of the “Zwanzig20” initiative.