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A composite material is a heterogeneous combination of two or more different constituents (reinforcement, filler, matrix) differing in form or composition on a macro scale. Reinforcing fibres provide strength and rigidity, while the  matrix maintains the position and orientation of reinforcements. The combination results in a (composite) material that maximizes specific performance properties not exhibited by the individual constituents. The constituents do not merge into each other completely and exhibit an interface between one another. The nature of the interfacial property of the constituents plays a very important role in preparation and performance of the composites.
Composite materials have revolutionized the realm of material science because of their high strength and low weight. Among the different types of composites, fibre reinforced polymer composite is the most widely used one. After decades of development of composites based on glass, carbon and boron fibres, there is a serious international effort to develop composites based on natural fibres like jute, flax, sisal, hemp, banana, mesta, etc. as reinforcement. The major advantage of using natural ligno-cellulosic fibres include high strength/modulus and low density, low energy requirement for their production compared to glass, bio-degradability, carbon-dioxide neutrality and sustainability through low energy agricultural practices and finally less hazardous to man and machine during processing. Thermoplastic composites based on them are recyclable. Ligno-cellulosic fibres also provide the possibility of deriving micro and nano fibres out of them for producing high end nano and micro composites.


World production of fibre reinforced composite is about 1.2 billion kilograms with a value of about US $ 6.5 billion. Automotive and construction sectors together account for about 60% of this use. Presently there is worldwide trend in replacing glass reinforced plastic materials and metals in these sectors, particularly the automobile sector, with composites based on natural fibres to reduce the weight of automobiles to make them energy efficient and eco-friendly.
However, there are disadvantages or R&D gaps which need to be addressed for development of efficient products. The drawbacks of natural fibres which need to be addressed urgently are:
(i)    Low compatibility and adhesion between fibres and resins/polymers which are reinforced by the fibres
(ii)    Non-availability of textile structures suitable for reinforcement application.
If these issues are tackled suitably through R&D programme, jute and allied lingo-cellulosic fibres can be used in large quantities in diversified and value-added application.
R&D programme at NIRJAFT are designed to address these problems. NIRJAFT has already developed some jute woven and nonwoven fabrics based thermoset and thermoplastic composite materials for civil engineering and automobile bodybuilding applications which are non-structural. Besides these, NIRJAFT has also started R&D programme for development of “Green” composites based on natural lingo-cellulosic fibres and biodegradable polymeric compounds. Future programme include development of micro and nano composites. This will enable such composites to be used for more wide spread applications, including structural application in automobile, construction, transport and railway sectors.

Present product range of natural fibre based composites are :
  • Doors & Windows
  • Furniture & Partition
  • Ceiling & Flooring for the transport sector
  • Mechanical Components
  • Corrugated Board
  • Auto-trims
  • Telephone Booth
  • Temporary housing
  • Shower Cabin, etc.

Particle boards made from jute sticks find wide applications as substitutes for wood. The availability of the technologies for producing particleboards and its high socio-economic value are arguments in favour of the future development of this product. The use of wood in house construction, furniture, etc is slowly being discouraged due to environmental reasons. The use of jute particle board as a substitute has been found to be quite acceptable both in terms of quality and price. This is a fast growing market segment. Jute particle boards are now being made mainly at small-scale level.

The textile industry is stagnating for a long time in the face of onslaught from the synthetics. Jute growers, having no other major industrial application for their produce, are facing an uncertain future. Therefore, strategically it is important that some alternative industrial application of jute crop is developed whose major input would be the plant itself or its components. Fibre-board is a flat wood–waste based product which has gained wide acceptability the world over as a sustainable substitute for wood and plywood. A process developed for preparing fibre-board from jute plant or any of its components will give jute growers a new market for their produce. Fibre-boards are eco-friendly and 80% of its constituents is likely to be derived from jute pant. India being a wood deficit country, offers tremendous opportunity as a substitute for wood or plywood.  
A particle board unit producing low density boards suitable for false ceiling of size 61cm x61 cm   and 10-12 mm thickness having an installed capacity of 380 boards per day can be profitably run as a family unit with 5-10 skilled and unskilled labours. Similarly a medium density fibre board can be manufactured having attrition milling facility can produce boards for panelling and furniture.
The process involves disintegration of jute stick in a hammer mill and then sieved in a sieving machine. Jute stick particles are mixed with 10-15 % resin in a blender machine and treated with chemicals for low formaldehyde release. The three layer  mats are made with coarse jute stick in the middle and fine jute stick (20% ) at  bottom and top, then pressed in a four day-light hot press at 130-1500C at about 20 Kg/cm2  pressure for 15-20 min. The coul plates are treated with releasing liquids for easy release. The boards are unloaded and cooled for curing separately. Finally the boards are trimmed in a trimmer machine and cut to 61cm x61 cm   size and packed in lots of 10 boards per pack. The boards are subjected to quality evaluation for their tensile strength, modulus of rupture, impact strength, density, thickness swelling and weight increase for 2 hr and 24 hr.

A shed having an area of about 5000 sft is required. the plant and the machinery are: Hot Press (4 day light)(132 cm x 76 cm)- two numbers, hammer mill/ disintegrator, Disc refiner, blending machine, trimmer, screen(vibrator) machine, mat forming table,  dice, moulds, coul plates , buckets, storage space for raw material, storage space for finished products, furniture for office. Operational expenses for 3 months and raw materials for 3 months, overheads and utilities for 3 months including wages for 3 months.


  • Hammer mill 50 -100 Kg /hr  with 10 HP motor
  • Shaker with 3 HP motor
  • Blender with 3 HP motor 100 litre capacity
  • Dice and mould
  • Matt forming table 2Nos.
  • Hot press hydraulic 54””x 30”” , five -ten day light, 10 HP
  • DD saw with 5 Hp motor

Shed with floor area 5000sft
Cost of the project – 80-1.0 Crore

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