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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Viscoelastic properties of kenaf bast fiber in relation to stem age

Authors
item Ayre, Bryan - UNIV. OF NORTH TEXAS
item Sevens, Kevin - UNIV. OF NORTH TEXAS
item Chapman, Kent - UNIV. OF NORTH TEXAS
item Webber, Charles
item Dagnon, Koffi - UNIV. OF NORTH TEXAS
item D'Souza, Nandika - UNIV. OF NORTH TEXAS

Submitted to: Textile Research Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 20, 2008
Publication Date: June 1, 2009
Citation: Ayre, B.G., Sevens, K.J., Chapman, K.D., Webber III, C.L., Dagnon, K.L., D'Souza, N.A. 2009. Viscoelastic properties of kenaf bast fiber in relation to stem age. Textile Research Journal. 79(11):973-980.

Interpretive Summary: Concerns over rising costs, unstable supply, and negative environmental impact of fossil fuels are promoting renewed interest in traditional fiber crops. Natural fibers traditionally used for cordage are proving valuable for advanced industrial applications due in part to beneficial physical and chemical properties, but also because they are a renewable and biodegradable resource. Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L., Malvaceae) produces high yields of lignocellulosic bast fibers in the bark layer, and is a promising crop for supplying emerging fiber markets. Bast fibers are bundles of cells that undergo extensive cell-wall thickening during maturation. Bundle maturity is an important determinant of fiber quality. Fiber bundles in stem sections of progressive age were analyzed by epifluorescence microscopy, and viscoelastic proprieties were determined by dynamic mechanical analysis. Early-forming primary fibers were larger than later-forming secondary fibers, but cell-wall thickening contributed most to tensile strength and vibration absorption. These results will help guide agronomic practices that favor distinct fiber characteristics, and could facilitate variety improvement for kenaf and other crops on the basis of functional properties in addition to yield. These results will also help focus future genomic and biotechnology efforts to tissues in maturing stems most likely to improve yield and quality.

Technical Abstract: Natural fibers traditionally used for cordage are proving valuable for advanced industrial applications due in part to beneficial physical and chemical properties, but also because they are a renewable and biodegradable resource. Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L., Malvaceae) produces high yields of lignocellulosic bast fibers in the bark layer, and is a promising crop for supplying emerging fiber markets. Bast fibers are bundles of cells that undergo extensive cell-wall thickening during maturation. Bundle maturity is an important determinant of fiber quality. Fiber bundles in stem sections of progressive age were analyzed by epifluorescence microscopy, and viscoelastic proprieties were determined by dynamic mechanical analysis. Early-forming primary fibers were larger than later-forming secondary fibers, but cell-wall thickening contributed most to tensile strength and vibration absorption.

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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