Fibers derived from bio-based sources such as vegetables and animal origin are termed as natural fibers. This definition includes all natural cellulosic fibers (cotton, jute, sisal, coir, flax, hemp, abaca, ramie, etc.) and protein-based fibers such as wool and silk. There are also man-made cellulose fibers (e.g., viscose rayon and cellulose acetate) that are produced with chemical procedures from pulped wood or other sources (cotton, bamboo). Natural fibers being cost effective and abundantly available yields high potential in various industrial and commercial applications such as in the interior applications of the passenger cars, panels for partition and false ceiling, partition boards, roof tiles, coir fibers in packaging, furniture applications, as insulating materials in low energy houses, geo-textiles for soil protection and erosion control, enhancing barrier properties, composites etc. Due to research and developmental work in modification and treatment methods of natural fibers, utilization of natural fibers has observed a significant growth in various applications. The chapter addresses the potential applications of natural fibers in various commercial sectors for the development of environment-friendly products with an aim to replace synthetic fibers or inorganic fillers with cost-effective and efficient products.
Part of the book: Generation, Development and Modifications of Natural Fibers