A technological demand

Packaging application is the greatest sector for the plastics industry in Europe. One of the main challenges in this industry is the control of wastes after use. In order to reduce the environmental load generated from the disposal of used plastic materials, a growing interest has been focused on biodegradable polymers based materials. However, the use of biodegradable films for food packaging has been strongly limited because of the poor barrier properties and weak mechanical properties shown by natural polymers. A possible strategy to increase its properties is the development of fibre-based biocomposites. In this sense, natural fibres represent an interesting profitable substrate, being most of them plant fibres. Although the demand for natural fibers is growing worldwide and its price is increasing, annual plants such as jute, sisal, kenaf, flax or hemp require further development to provide novel products with improved properties.

The development of FLHEA project has provided a novel range of surface modified reinforcements. The project has been focused on the upscaling and modification of micro/nanoreinforcements based in hemp and flax, and its subsequent processing to obtain composites with improved properties.