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PROPERTIES OF FIBRES/CULM STRANDS FROM MAT SEDGE – CYPERUS PANGOREI ROTTB.

Jahangir Ali Fathima Benazir,*a Venugopal Manimekalai, Ramasamy Suganthid, and Dhurvas Chandrasekaran Dinesh b *c e

Perumal Ravichandran,

The anatomical, chemical, and physico-mechanical properties of the fibres of C. pangorei were investigated in this study. The results indicate that the rind region that is split and used in mat making contains compactly arranged fibrovascular bundles and a discontinuous patch of fibrous sheath. The frequency and the R/T ratio of the bundles were high in the rind region and were indicative of fibre strength. Lignin and cellulose, the major cell wall substances, were localized with heterochromatic, fluorescent, and natural dyes. The holocellulose content was high (82.2 %), and the lignin content was comparatively low (13.28 %) as analyzed by the method of Doree. Very thick walled, thick walled, very thin walled, and thin walled fibres were characterized when fibres were macerated, and their derived values indicated a high Slenderness and Runkell ratio that is indicative of tear resistance. The tenacity and percentage elongation of the split culm strands was also high, and this implies high strength of the fibre strands. The fibre of this mat sedge thus has favorable characteristics to be potentially utilized in the mat and silkmat industry. Furthermore the plant’s annual harvesting period, biomass, and appropriate fibre characteristics makes this sedge very attractive as an alternative fibre source in the miscellaneous plant fibre industry.

Keywords: Mat sedge; Culm strands; Fibre dimension and derived values; Chemical properties; Physicomechanical properties

Contact information: a: Assistant Professor, School of Biotechnology, Dr. G. R. Damodaran College of Science, Civil Aerodrome Post, Coimbatore, India, Pin: 641 014; b: Assistant Professor, Department of Botany, Sri Parasakthi College for Women, Courtallam 627 802, India; c: Associate Professor, Lab of Developmental Biology and Plant Biotechnology, Sri Paramakalyani Centre for Environmental Sciences, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Alwarkurichi- 627 412, India; d: Head, School of Biotechnology, Dr. G. R. D. CS, Coimbatore; e: Research Associate, Department of Molecular Biophysics, IISc, Bangalore, India; * Corresponding authors: fathima.benazir@gmail.com; fathimabenazir@yahoo.co.in ravigrass1@rediffmail.com

INTRODUCTION

Natural fibres have been used in structural applications, particularly in rope making, for many years but are currently attracting increasing interest for polymer reinforcement in applications requiring environmentally friendly materials (Beakou et al. 2008). European renewable fibres, such as flax and hemp, are now used for door panels and car roofs. But accelerating the substitution of synthetic fibres by natural fibres requires greater availability of these local fibres than current production levels can supply. In addition, there are certain fibres that are easier to extract or are more suitable

Benazir et al. (2010). “Sedge fibers and strands,” BioResources 5(2), 951-967.

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