Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (102 KB bytes)

Title: Sustainable composites from natural resources

Author: Rowell, R.M.;

Date: 2002

Source: High performance structures and composites. Southampton ; Boston : WIT Press, 2002: p. [183]-192.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: In order to insure a continuous supply of natural agricultural resources, management of the agricultural producing land should be under a proactive system of land management whose goal is both sustainable agriculture and the promotion of healthy ecosystems. Ecosystem management is not a euphemism for preservation, which might imply benign neglect. Sustainable agriculture denotes a balance between conservation and utilization of agricultural lands to serve both social and economic needs, from local, national and global vantage points. Sustainable agriculture does not represent exploitation but rather is aimed toward meeting all the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. It encompasses, in the present case, a continuous production of agricultural-based composites utilizing the natural resources, considerations of multi-land use, and the protection, restoration, and conservation of the total ecosystem. Agricultural resources are renewable, widely distributed, available locally, moldable, anisotropic, hydroscopic, recyclable, versatile, non-abrasive, porous, viscoelastic, easily available in many forms, biodegradable, combustible, compostible, and reactive. Plant fibers have a high aspect ratio, high strength to weight ratio, and have good insulation properties (sound, electrical, and thermal). The fiber structure is hollow, laminated, with molecular layers and an integrated matrix. It is possible to make complex shaped composites directly using fiber mat technologies. Successful application of this technology depends on the development of a fiber mat which will maintain its physical integrity until it is used to form a final product. Fiber mats can be made by physical entanglement (carding), nonwoven needling, or thermoplastic fiber melt matrix technologies.

Keywords: Composite materials, agricultural resources, sustainable agriculture, natural resources, renewable natural resources

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Rowell, R.M. 2002. Sustainable composites from natural resources. High performance structures and composites. Southampton ; Boston : WIT Press, 2002: p. [183]-192.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.