Hemp Fiber Properties, Chemical Constituents and Uses

Posted by Firoz Kabir on Friday, June 28, 2013 0

Hemp is a natural bast fiber like jute, flax or ramie. This fiber is produced from the plant name Cannabis Sativa. It grows well in the south western part of Caspian Ocean. It is a long strong and most durable fiber among all the vegetable fibers. It contains about 70 percent cellulose in its structure and looks very shiny like linen or flax fiber. It has low amount of lignin, hemi-cellulose and other matters. Hemp is very finer fiber but more stronger as it is used to coarse fabric as well as canvas. Since hemp fiber shows similar properties like all the natural bast fibers as their length, strength, absorbency, durability, dyeing properties, mildew resistant, blocking ultraviolet light and anti-bacterial properties, thus it is used for producing various decorative textile products and blended with other fibers.


Chemical Constituents of Hemp


Component
percentage
Cellulose
71.5%
Hemi-cellulsoe
18.1%
Lignin
5.9%
Pectin
2.9%
Fat and Wax
0.9%
Water Soluble Matter
1.8%
Total
100%



Physical Properties

Length: It is 4 to 6.5 feet long.

Strength: Too strong, usually after ramie it is most stronger fiber among all natural fibers.

Elasticity: Not so good. Lesser than flax fiber.

Color: It looks yellowish to deep brown.

Moisture Regain: MR% of hemp fiber is 12, which is more than cotton or flax fiber but lesser than jute.

Heat Resistance: Heat Resistance of hemp is moderate.

Luster: Soft and highly shiny fiber like linen.


Chemical properties

Hemp fiber contains about 70% cellulose, thus it has great affinity towards dyes and chemicals. It has excellent mildew resistant and blocking to ultraviolet light as well as natural anti-bacterial properties. It destroys when treated with strong acid but have good activity and resistant against strong alkali. It should  dye up at bleach free way as it is greatly affected by beaching agent. (Reference: book Textile Fiber and  web textilefashionstudy)


End Uses:

Hemp has been used to make coarse fabric as well as canvas as it is very strong fiber. It has been used for ages to produce rope, canvas along with paper like matter. Prolonged hemp muscles is usually content spun along with weaved to generate highly detailed, linen-like fabric employed in clothing, home furnishing fabrics along with floor coverings.

In China, hemp is usually de-gummed for processing on flax or cotton machinery. Blending with cotton, linen, silk and wool gives hemp a softer feel, while adding resistance and durability to the product.

In Europe, hemp fibers are used mainly in the specific paper market - on account of reduce lignin content material, it may be pulped employing a lot fewer chemical substances in comparison with wood.

Hemp fibers are also used to reinforce moulded thermoplastics in the automobile industry. The short core fibers go into insulation products, fiber board and erosion control mats, while the fibrous core can be blended with lime to make strong, lightweight concrete. (Reference : naturalfibres2009)

About the Author

Md. Firoz Kabir(M.Sc in Textile Engineering)

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