What it is Coconut fiber | Features of Coconut fiber | Use and applications of Coconut fiber
What it is Coconut fiber | Features of Coconut fiber | Use and applications of Coconut fiber: We said that the coconut fiber is obtained from the mesocarp of the coconut which is the part that separates the fleshy internal fruit from the husk. It corresponds exactly to the external and fibrous intermediate part that surrounds the delicious and fragrant fruit.
In order to obtain the fiber from it, this fibrous layer is separated from the walnut and sent to an artisanal process that begins with a long maceration process in water, salt and mud.
The traditional technique, in fact, provides that the raw fiber macerates in this solution for 6-10 months. In this way all the residual organic parts are eliminated and the remaining fibers are washed, dried and in the sun, beaten and collected in bales.
From this long and patient process an extremely resistant fiber is obtained which is impregnated with boron salts, sodium silicate or ammonium sulphates. Thanks to this treatment, the sealing at high temperatures and the compactness of the fiber itself is significantly improved.
Features of Coconut fiber
As we have seen, the coconut fiber has extraordinarily resistance to rubbing, humidity and wear. A bit like jute , raffia and fiber obtained from abaca , even coconut has been used since ancient times to make mats, ropes, fishing equipment, rugs and furnishings. In fact, it does not even fear the wear and tear of sea water, it does not rot and acts as an excellent thermal and acoustic insulation .it is also a fiber with good fire resistance and is resistant to mold , plant pests and rodents .
For these extraordinary peculiarities, it is rightly considered one of the most reliable and almost indestructible natural fibers.
Use and applications of Coconut fiber
Coconut fiber produces felts which are used in construction as thermo-acoustic insulators, in particular to finish:
- floating floors
- ventilated roofs
- internal partition walls
Its duration is guaranteed for 50 years, at the end of which it is completely recyclable and destined for other uses.
In gardening and agriculture, it is used in the creation of drainage for roof gardens and terraces, or as reinforcement for soils and slopes at risk of erosion. As a textile material, the longer fibers are perfect to realize t appeti, mats, doormats, brushes and ropes. The shorter ones, on the other hand, act as a filling material for mattresses, cushions, saddles or for the production of cellulose and paper.
Coconut fiber: eco-fabric
In order to weave the fiber extracted from the coconut , the fibrous part of the mesocarp must be subjected to a carding by machine. Subsequently, it must be washed, dried, combed and pressed in order to obtain felt bales.
It takes about 10.00 coconuts to produce 45-65 kg of long fibers and 8-13 kg of short fibers. Once finished, they retain a reddish-brown color rather similar to the original color and an average length ranging from 25 to 35 cm.
In recent years, companies interested in testing the use of coconut fiber for more sophisticated and valuable textile processes have multiplied .
Nanollose, for example, is an Australian start-up that has developed Nullarbor , the first rayon yarn obtained from the microbial conversion of biomass to cellulose . In practice, the perfect substitute for viscose.
To this important innovation, Nanollose has combined a low impact textile production system that closes the circle around a trend now common to many companies in the clothing sector: the trend of eco-fashion .
Substrate for plants
Coconut fiber is the perfect substrate for easily growing any type of potted plant, starting with ornamental plants. Easy to use even for the less experienced in gardening , the reasons why it is increasingly appreciated in horticulture are manifold:
- Well ventilated and oxygenated
- Ensures excellent drainage
- Stable pH
- Retains moisture
- Ecological and recyclable
It should be remembered, however, that the substrate obtained with coconut fiber is not nutritious. It must always be mixed with other specific nutrients and fertilizers for coconut and for hydroponic cultivation .
Other coconut derivatives for gardening and horticulture are pressed coconut (Coco Block ) and coconut plates . Both are derived from the maceration of the coconut rind.
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