Potential Areas of Abaca-Fiber Application

1. As per the “End-of-Life-Vehicle Regulation” by the European parliament, the natural fibers like abaca will be used in designing and manufacturing of car com­ponents which will enable their safe disposal and recyclability at the end of their life. Moreover, research is being conducted to develop needle punched abaca fabric for possible use in the production of padding and backing for automotive industry.

2. Abaca fiber has a great potential in ship building, aeronautics, and construction of high-rise buildings.

3. Compared to cordage made of synthetic fibers, the abaca fibers are biodegrad­able and therefore can be dumped without any environmental hazard. Moreover, the poor reflecting ability of abaca ropes makes them suitable for use in American movie-making industry as they do not reflect on exposure to klieg lights.

4. The use of abaca fibers in preparation of sausage casings has a great potential due to their inability to dissolve in boiling water besides being free from any health hazard (if eaten mistakenly)

5. Abaca fibers offer a good and easily available substitute for wood pulp, thereby reducing the pressure on the conventional sources of pulp-yielding plants. A good example is provided by Japan where the Japanese currency (¥10,000, 500, and 1,000) has been found to contain about 60 % abaca components. Similarly there are reports from China where a huge increase in demand for abaca fibers is expected to meet the requirements for recycling waste paper. Similar example is provided by the European company “the PH Glatfelter” who has produced the disposable K-cups made of special filter paper containing 100 % abaca fiber.

6. Abaca fiber also has great potential in the production of world-class furniture like sofas, tables, chairs, beds, etc.

7. The production of products like abaca soap or lotion with anti-aging or therapeu­tic properties will also revolutionize the cosmetic industry.

8. It also offers great potential for textile industry as blending of abaca fibers with other natural fibers like silk can be used to produce fabrics of excellent quality, e. g., the manufacturing of denim by Asiatex (The Asia Textile Mills, Inc.) in Calamba City by bending of abaca (40 %) and polyester (60 %). Other fabrics like shirts, blouses have also been developed and research is being conducted to pro­duce fabrics of extraordinary qualities like antimicrobial and “stay cool and fresh.”

9. Abaca-reinforced composites have a good potential for use in automotive plastics.

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