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Open AccessArticle

A Comparative Study of the Effect of Field Retting Time on the Properties of Hemp Fibres Harvested at Different Growth Stages

1
Centre des Matériaux des Mines d’Alès, IMT Mines Alès, Université de Montpellier, 6 avenue de Clavières, 30319 Alès Cedex, France
2
Laboratoire du Génie de l’Environnement Industriel, IMT Mines Alès, Université de Montpellier, 6 avenue de Clavières, 30319 Alès Cedex, France
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Fibers 2019, 7(12), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib7120108
Received: 25 October 2019 / Revised: 3 December 2019 / Accepted: 5 December 2019 / Published: 7 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Fibers and Composites: Science and Applications)
In this study, the comparison of field retting of hemp fibres harvested at different growth stages (beginning and end of flowering, seed maturity) was studied. Regardless of the harvest period, identical evolution of the fibres’ properties was observed during retting. The main difference is the kinetics of this transformation, which depend on weather conditions and the initial state of the fibres after harvesting. Retting leads to a change in colour of the stems and fibres, an increase of the cellulose fraction and a gradual improvement of the fibres’ thermal stability, in relation with a decrease in the non-cellulosic materials. This process induces fibre bundle separation into elementary fibres. A long period (5 weeks) is required for getting the highest mechanical properties of fibres harvested at the beginning and the end of flowering. However, the retting of fibres harvested at seed maturity has to be performed in a short period (1 week) in order to avoid over-retting treatment. If the fibres are over-retted, their quality decreases in terms of structure and mechanical properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: hemp fibre; plant growth; retting temporal dynamics; mechanical properties; thermal stability hemp fibre; plant growth; retting temporal dynamics; mechanical properties; thermal stability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mazian, B.; Bergeret, A.; Benezet, J.-C.; Malhautier, L. A Comparative Study of the Effect of Field Retting Time on the Properties of Hemp Fibres Harvested at Different Growth Stages. Fibers 2019, 7, 108.

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