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Exploring the dew retting feasibility of hemp in very contrasting European environments: Influence on the tensile mechanical properties of fibres and composites

Réquilé, Samuel and Mazian, Brahim and Grégoire, Marie and Musio, Salvatore and Gautreau, Maxime and Nuez, Lucile and Day, Arnaud and Thiébeau, Pascal and Philippe, Florian and Chabbert, Brigitte and Chamussy, Anne and Shah, Darshil U. and Beaugrand, Johnny and Placet, Vincent and Benezet, Jean-Charles and Le Digou, Antoine and Bar, Mahadev and Malhautier, Luc and De Luycker, Emmanuel and Amaducci, Stefano and Baley, Christophe and Bergeret, Anne and Bourmaud, Alain and Ouagne, Pierre Exploring the dew retting feasibility of hemp in very contrasting European environments: Influence on the tensile mechanical properties of fibres and composites. (2021) Industrial Crops and Products, 164. 1-14. ISSN 0926-6690

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2021.113337


Retting of fibrous plants such as flax is an essential step in the extraction of fibre bundles and their transformation into textiles and reinforcement fabrics for use in garments and composites. Dew-retting is traditionally performed from Northwest France to the Netherlands, as the climate is highly favourable for this process. Hemp is a plant that can be grown almost all over Europe with a low environmental impact. A retting step is also required to facilitate the separation of the hemp fibres before their transformation into textiles for garments or for 1D to 3D reinforcement composites, which requires thoroughly separated fibres. Dew-retting is currently used in flax production zones. The present work demonstrates that dew retting can be conducted under different climates on different soils, from dry Mediterranean environments up to the cooler regions of eastern France. If the ternary combination of moisture, temperature and solar radiation is appropriate, field retting (dew-retting) can be as short as about three weeks. In less favourable conditions, such as in dryer areas or when retting is performed late in the season after seed maturity (cooler temperatures), it lasts longer, but it can reach suitable levels. When conducted with care and with proper monitoring of the retting level, the dew-retting process does impact neither the tensile properties of elementary hemp fibres (by degrading crystalline cellulose I) nor the tensile properties of unidirectional and injected composite materials. Consequently, if extracted with a suitable process such as scutching and hackling, fibres suitable for load-bearing composites can be produced from dewretted hemp stems produced in a wide range of climates and locations, therefore not limited to the conventional “dew retting zone” of flax production areas.

Item Type:Article
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Other partners > Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et des Microtechniques - ENSMM (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Institut national de recherche pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - INRAE (FRANCE)
Other partners > University of Cambridge (UNITED KINGDOM)
Other partners > Université de Franche-Comté (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université de Technologie de Belfort-Montbéliard - UTBM (FRANCE)
Other partners > La Chanvrière (FRANCE)
Other partners > Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (ITALY)
Other partners > IMT Mines Alès (FRANCE)
Other partners > Fibres Recherche Développement - FRD (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté - UBFC (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université de Bretagne Sud - UBS (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université de Lille (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université de Reims - Champagne-Ardenne (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:02 Jul 2021 14:23

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