Turning coconut fibers from agricultural waste into lightweight engineering materials

A team of materials researchers from India, Thailand, Malaysia, China and UK has successfully produced a fibre reinforced polymer composite material using natural fibres from the coconut stalk.

Coconut fibres from coconut stalk

The UN Sustainable Development Goal number 12 on responsible consumption and production aspires for sustainable consumption and production pattern. One important implication is that goods are only sustainable if they are as dematerialized as possible and allow for continued use or re-use, or recycling with minimal material loss. To this end, a multidisciplinary international team, Dr. B. Brailson Mansingh (Sri Ramakrishna Engineering College, India), has successfully developed a fiber reinforced polymer composite material using natural fibers derived from the flower stalk of coconut trees, which is an agricultural waste product. Dr. Brailson emphasized that the composite material is not only light-weight but also adequately strong and stiff for structural application in automotive industry, such as the chassis of electric vehicles. Dr. Brailson revealed that the unique approach in the processing of the composite material was to blend the fibers in an unsaturated polyester resin, which had been modified by a catalyst and an accelerator. Dr. Brailson is optimistic that this new composite material has potential applications in a wide range of industry from automotive engineering, construction, sports to biomedical engineering.

The other members of the team are Dr. B. Brailson Mansingh, Dr. J. S. Binoj, Dr. V.N. Anbazhagan, Dr. Kheng Lim Goh, Dr. Suchart Siengchin, Dr. M. R. Sanjay, Professor Mariatti Mustapha Jaafar and Dr. Yucheng Liu from the following universities, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Mohan Babu University (India), Sri Ramakrishna Engineering College (India), DMI College of Engineering (India), King Mongkut's University of Technology North Bangkok (Thailand), Jiangsu University (China) and Newcastle University in Singapore.

The work has been published in Journal of Applied Polymer (DOI: 10.1002/app.52245). For further details and enquiry on potential collaboration, please contact Dr. B. Brailson Mansingh at [email protected], Dr. J. S. Binoj at [email protected], or Dr K L Goh at [email protected].

Published: 10 Apr 2022

Contact details:

Dr Kheng Lim Goh

172A Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 #05-01
SIT Building @ Nanyang Polytechnic
Singapore 567739

+65 6908 6073
Academic discipline: 
Content type: 

Characterization of Cocos nucifera L. peduncle fiber reinforced polymer composites for lightweight sustainable applications, https://doi.org/10.1002/app.52245

Funding information:

The work was supported by Thailand Science Research and Innovation Fund and King Mongkut's University of Technology North Bangkok (KMUTNB), Thailand with contract no. KMUTNB-FF-65-19.