Friday, 6 December 2013

Start a Coir Fibre making Business

Start a Coir Fibre making Business

Coir fibre is 100% natural and originates in the outer husk of coconuts – it comes from part of the seedpod of the coconut palm.
Mature coir fibres contain more lignin, a complex woody chemical, and less cellulose than fibres such as flax or cotton.
This makes coir stronger, although less flexible. Coir fibre is relatively water-proof.

Coir geo-textiles can be used to stabilize the soil temporarily when construction roads or banks.. Coir geotextiles are being used as a separation cum drainage layer in the road. It is also intended to serve as a reinforcement material in the beginning of the project. Geo-synthetics are widely used in the construction of road all over the world, whereas use of coir geotextiles is very limited in such construction. Only very limited trials on use of coir geotextiles in road construction has been executed in Kerala.

Coir Geotextiles offer:
  • 100 % Natural fibre, extracted from coconut husk
  • Adds organic material to soil
  • Promotes vegetative growth
  • 100% Bio-degradable and environmentally friendly
  • Tough, durable, versatile and resilient
  • High tear-strength resistance
  • Easy to install / maintain / patch-up.
  • Follows the contour of the soil surface.
  • Hygroscopic properties
    (absorbing or attracting moisture from the air)
  • High tensile strength

Coir geotextiles – the natural erosion controller

Coir geotextiles are classified as woven, meshes and nets and non woven, as the blanket held by coir threads.
Coir geotextile nets have varying densities depending on their application, but as a whole they serve as slope stabilization agents prior to revegetation.
Coir geotextiles promote new vegetation by absorbing water and preventing top soil from drying out. Coir geotextiles absorb solar radiation just like natural soil, and unlike geosynthetic materials, it provides good soil support for up to three years, allowing natural vegetation to become established.

The greater the geotextile density, the steeper the embankments it can be utilized on. Applications have included ski slopes and bottom reinforcing material in water courses. (Under water the degradation of coir is slower).

Over a period of time, coir which is ecofriendly and biodegradable, completely disintegrates leaving only humus.

  • Low cost
  • Long lasting separation of the base and sub grade material.
  • Preservation of load-bearing capacity
  • Ability to extend the life of paved roads

Laying of Coir Geotextiles

Road construction-progressing

Structure of Coir Fibre
The individual fibre cells are narrow and hollow, with thick walls made of cellulose. They are pale when immature but later become hardened and yellowed as a layer of lignin, is deposited on their walls. Mature brown coir fibres contain more lignin and less cellulose than fibres such as flax and cotton and so are stronger but less flexible. They are made up of small threads, each less than 0.05 inch (1.3 mm) long and 10 to 20 micrometres in diameter. White fibre is smoother and finer, but also weaker. The coir fibre is relatively waterproof and is the only natural fibre resistant to damage by salt water.
Green coconuts, harvested after about six to twelve months on the plant, contain pliable white fibres. Brown fibre is obtained by harvesting fully mature coconuts when the nutritious layer surrounding the seed is ready to be processed into copra and desiccated coconut. The fibrous layer of the fruit is then separated from the hard shell (manually) by driving the fruit down onto a spike to split it (De-husking). Machines are now available which crush the whole fruit to give the loose fibres.

Brown fibre
The fibrous husks are soaked in pits or in nets in a slow moving body of water to swell and soften the fibres. The long bristle fibres are separated from the shorter mattress fibres underneath the skin of the nut, a process known as wet-milling. The mattress fibres are sifted to remove dirt and other rubbish, dried and packed into bales. Some mattress fibre is allowed to retain more moisture so that it retains its elasticity for 'twisted' fibre production.The coir fibre is elastic enough to twist without breaking and it holds a curl as though permanently waved. Twisting is done by simply making a rope of the hank of fibre and twisting it using a machine or by hand. The longer bristle fibre is washed in clean water and then dried before being tied into bundles or hunks. It may then be cleaned and 'hackled' by steel combs to straighten the fibres and remove any shorter fibre pieces. Coir bristle fibre can also be bleached and dyed to obtain hanks of different colours.

White Fibre
The immature husks are suspended in a river or water-filled pit for up to ten months. During this time micro-organisms break down the plant tissues surrounding the fibres to loosen them - a process known as retting. Segments of the husk are then beaten by hand to separate out the long fibres, which are subsequently dried and cleaned. Cleaned fibre is ready for spinning into yarn using a simple one-handed system or a spinning wheel.

Uses / Applications
Brown coir is used in brushes, doormats, mattresses and sacking. A small amount is also made into twine. Pads of curled brown coir fibre, made by needle-felting (a machine technique that mats the fibres together) are shaped and cut to fill mattresses and for use in erosion control on river banks and hillsides. A major proportion of brown coir pads are sprayed with rubber latex which bonds the fibres together (rubberized coir) to be used as upholstery padding for the automobile industry in Europe. The material is also used for insulation and packaging. The major use of white coir is in rope manufacture. Mats of woven coir fibre are made from the finer grades of bristle and white fibre using hand or mechanical looms. Coir is recommended as substitute for milled peat moss because it is free of bacteria and fungal spores.

Major Producers
Total world coir fibre production is 250,000 tonnes. The coir fibre industry is particularly important in some areas of the developing world. India, mainly the coastal region of Kerala State, produces 60% of the total world supply of white coir fibre. Sri Lanka produces 36% of the total world brown fibre output. Over 50% of the coir fibre produced annually throughout the world is consumed in the countries of origin, mainly India.

Some Coir Facts
COIR is a versatile natural fibre extracted from mesocarp tissue, or husk of the coconut fruit. The husk contains 20% to 30% fibre of varying length. After grinding the husk, the long fibres are removed and used for various industrial purposes, such as rope and mat making. The remaining material, composed of short and medium-length fibres as well as pith tissue, is commonly referred to as waste-grade coir. The waste grade coir may be screened to remove part or all of the fibre, and the remaining product is referred to as coir pith.

The Wonders of Coir
Moth-proof; resistant to fungi and rot.
Provides excellent insulation against temperature and sound.
Not easily combustible.
Unaffected by moisture and dampness.
Tough and durable.
Resilient; springs back to shape even after constant use.
Totally static free.
Easy to clean.

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  1. The information which you have provided is very good. It is very useful who is looking for Geosynthetics.

  2. Would like to supply coir husks... What are the possibilities?

  3. Thanks for sharing this kind of interesting blog. I've gained detailed knowledge about Coir fiber structure, benefits and their uses & application. Keep on sharing!!!!

  4. Hi, Your blog is very useful. We are Manufacturers of Coir Fiber over all India.