A single-plant biobased composite material was prepared from fibre and matrix constituents produced from the castor plant, ricinus communis. It is shown that the mechanical properties of the castor plant fibres are comparable to those of other bast fibres and that the stiffness and strength characteristics of the castor fibre/polyamide 11 biocomposite compare well with those of other natural fibre composites. By using a biobased thermoplastic matrix material the reliance on non-renewable feedstock sources is reduced and end-of-lifetime recyclability is improved. The analysis of the environmental performance of the new castor plant composite suggests that the biobased material has great potential as a sustainable alternative replacing glass fibre-reinforced plastics. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
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