Natural fibers based composites - Technical and social issues
Molecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals. Abingdon: Taylor & Francis Ltd, v. 448, p. 161-177, 2006.
Sartor, S. M.
Caraschi, José Cláudio
Brazil is the only country in South America to have an automotive supplier sector based on natural fibers. New opportunities are arising due to an increase demand by the car makers in applying natural fibers in their parts. Several crop fibers have been developed in Brazil. Among them can be listed caroa, piacava, pupunha, mutum and others of regional application. For the automotive industry, which requires large quantities with uniform quality, the alternatives are sisal (170,000 ton/yr), curaua (150 ton/yr in 2003), malva, 200 ton/yr; Brazil is the single largest producer country of sisal, and commercially, the only one in curaua. For South America, the alternatives are fique in Colombia, abaca in equator, flax in Argentina and curaua in Venezuela. It must be understood by the target countries of drugs, is that crop fiber can be an economic alternative to coca in the Andes region, therefore an instrument of land reform and drug reduction plantations. Several companies have a strong program of apply natural fibers based components in their products: Volkswagen do Brazil, DaimlerChrysler, General Motors do Brazil. Among their suppliers can be listed companies such Pematec (curaua), Toro (sisal, coir and jute), Incomer (sisal and jute), Ober (jute, curaua), Indaru (jute and sisal), Antolin (imported kenaf,) Tapetes Sao Carlos (sisal), Poematec (coir) and Art-Gore, with Woodstock'' wood and natural fibers). Figures about production and demand are discussed in the paper.