Composite materials provide the kind of strength and reliability that many applications need, and hemp composites are among the best and most natural among these products. These composites offer certain benefits that may make them superior to other types of materials.
What Are Hemp Composites?
Natural and synthetic fibers comprise all types of composite materials, with fiber offering superior tensile strength that allows for peak performance. A lignin holds multiple natural fibers together in a matrix comprising different materials, with some consisting of hemp in certain bundles.
Hemp fibers come from cannabis plants and provide a level of reinforcement that’s similar to fibers from other natural sources, such as flax, bamboo, and coconut. However, hemp fibers are closest to glass fibers in their mechanical properties, making them highly dependable for reinforcement in a wide range of applications. Hemp can also be grown in temperate climates.
One common application for hemp composites- because of their reliability- is in the automotive industry, which uses these materials for reinforcing automotive components like boot linings, pillars, door panels, and passenger rear decks.
Hemp composites offer several key benefits that make them popular today, including the following:
- Utilization of the natural strength that comes with hemp fibers
- Hemp plants have a shorter maturation time, allowing for wider availability of materials
- Optimal versatility with the ability to form many shapes using hemp composites
- Carbon-negative characteristics that allow for the absorption of gaseous emissions from the surrounding air
- Reduced reliance on trees for developing composites and other industrial materials
Hemp Composite Applications
The following are some of the many common applications for hemp composites:
- Automotive: Various applications in the automotive industry use natural fibers like hemp composites, including instrument panels, center consoles, door panels, and different vehicle interior substrates.
- Sporting Goods & Instruments: Everything from bows, surfboards, and tennis rackets to hemp-wrapped cables and gig bags for guitars are suited to be made from hemp composites.
- Consumer Goods: Interior designs and products frequently use hemp composites because of these materials’ flexibility and lightweight characterics that work well with today’s products.
- Transport: Marine, aeronautics, and railway applications use hemp composites because of their lightweight nature and ease of use. These materials also prevent the propagation of smoke and fire in some applications.
Hemp Composite Products
Depending on the needs of an application, multiple hemp composite products are available, including the following:
- Panels: 4′ x 8′ rigid hemp composite panels come in different colors and thicknesses, with these products finding use in applications such as furniture, flatbed printing, casing, industrial machining, displays and signage, and more. These materials consist of eco-friendly polylactic acid (PLA) and offer superior compostability and recyclability.
- Natural Fiber Polypropylene (NFPPs): These products tend to comprise a blend of flax or hemp fibers and polypropylene thermoplastic polymer fibers. Together, both materials provide the optimal mechanical performance and cohesion required for automotive components. Door panels, headliners, parcel shelves, and side trunk trims in all types of vehicles use NFPPs.
- Building Material: Hempcrete combines hemp hurds – from the hemp stem’s core – and lime to make a composite material that is used to build houses. Indeed the resulting material resembles a composite more than concrete (we consider “hempcrete” a misleading word for this reason, but the name has already stuck!). You can learn more about hempcrete and what it does to determine if it’s right for your project.
American Natural Materials’ Hemp Composites
For many years, American Natural Materials (formerly Chanvra Materials) has been selling high quality hemp fibers, nonwovens, and hurds that can be used to develop your own hemp composites or hempcrete materials. As of 2023, we are now offering pre-made hemp composites & NFPP. We are equipped to offer custom NFPP- specifically for T1 automotive manufacturers. We are now also offering hemp composite panels made using natural PLA resins for product developers. Please note that these materials can currently only be manufactured in large quantities (High MOQ). Soon, we will also offer customers access to a retail e-commerce store that allows for orders of any size. If you have a product idea that is possible to scale and streamline, we’re here to make it a reality.
Ready to Get Hemp Composites from American Natural Materials?
Hemp composite materials of all types offer certain advantages that you won’t find with other materials. To take advantage of these products, along with other materials like hempcrete, turn to American Natural Materials for a great selection.
Contact us today to learn more about our materials and find what you need for your next project.