Jute finds use in manufacture of fibre-based composites for automobile ind

Jayanta Mallick Kolkata | Updated on January 19, 2018 Published on January 14, 2016


Low-cost and lightweight but strong jute fibres are increasingly finding favour with composite makers for usage in automotive components. Major global automakers have started using jute fibre-based composites for door panels and dashboards.

Sanjay Kajaria, former Chairman of the Indian Jute Mills’ Association told BusinessLine that recent business intelligence suggested that Mercedes, Ford, Toyota, Tesla and Chrysler have started using jute-based composites for some of their car interior parts.

According to industry sources, natural fibre composites have a clear focus on interior trims for high-value doors and dashboards. Along with kenaf and hemp, lately jute from India has also found its way into compressed and moulded composite substrates.

Kajaria said, “Jute sourced from India and Bangladesh, specifically processed elsewhere in the world, are being used for making composites for the automobile industry. It has opened up new opportunities as well as challenges. There are very few units which can catch up with the particular processing technology.”

According to trade estimates, about 100 tonnes of processed and compressed jute fibres were used in the past one year for automotive parts.

In recent years, the automotive industry has been looking at the use of suitable natural fibre-based composites. Recently, an international chemical company conducted an extensive test using India-made jute non-woven fabrics with their impregnated resin and found it appropriate. This prompted some composites makers to go in for non-woven needle punched jute substrates.

For Indian jute mills, which are used to manufacturing jute textiles primarily for sackings, non-woven but processed jute mats as a composite substrate, is a new product. Industry sources said a few local jute units have set up facilities, which can produce such jute substrates or mats for composites.

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Published on January 14, 2016
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