Collectively humanity is as far removed from our connection with mother nature as modern history would have us believe… yet not all is lost not by a long stretch… Ma has been patiently waiting for us with open leaves and branches. And it’s this fast growing biomass that provides the environmentally sustainable solutions.
Nanotechnology has revolutionized the electronics and telecommunications industries in every manner from cell phones to computers to multi-tasking wrist watches and so much more. There are products on the market today from hockey sticks and watercraft to nail polish and sunscreens that incorporate nanotechnology, though we aren’t generally aware of it as we purchase and use them.
But what does nanotechnology have to do with industrial hemp? As Hiruyoki Yano of Kyoto University accurately declared, “The cellulose sub-elementary fibril in plants is the most abundant nanomaterial on Earth!”
Thermoset compression moulding
Thermoset compression molding is currently producing car panels and other parts for several global auto manufacturers. A Mercedes car panel is made using this technology. The process involves taking a sheet of the hemp fiber matting, injecting it with thermoset resin, placing into a mold, heating it to high temps for a set amount of time, then popping the panel out of the mold for cleanup and final drilling/cutting. Currently, Mercedes, BMW, and Audi are few of the auto companies that are using this in their vehicles.
The reason why hemp lends itself so well to plastic production comes down to something called cellulose. All plastics, no matter where it’s derived from, require cellulose to structure the uniquely mouldable, yet durable, characteristics.
Petroleum has long been the go-to ingredient to source this cellulose, but now companies are branching out in the quest for more sustainable materials. Hemp is a perfect replacement for petroleum, considering hemp hurds are roughly 80 percent cellulose in nature. Unlike petroleum, hemp can be organically grown and is non-toxic.
Biodegradable plastics, not the ultimate solution but wonderful improvement
Hemp plastic is used to make cars (more durable than steel), furniture, musical instruments, skateboards, sunglasses, pens, 3D printer filaments, biodegradable reusable and single use containers and so much more!