Using hop bines as reinforcements for lightweight polypropylene composites

Yi Zou, Narendra Reddy, Yiqi Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Whole hop bines (HBs), the peeled outer bark (OB) of HBs, and fibers chemically extracted from hop bark (HFs) were used as reinforcements to make lightweight composites with polypropylene (PP) webs or fibers as the matrix materials. Using discarded HBs for composites not only increases the value of hop crops but also provides a green, sustainable, and biodegradable material for the composite industry. Lightweight composites are preferred, especially for automotive applications because of the potential energy savings. In this research, the effects of the processing parameters on the properties of PP composites reinforced with HBs were studied. The composites reinforced with OB without any chemical treatment showed better properties than the composites reinforced with HFs or HBs. Compared with jute-PP composites of the same density (0.47 g/cm3), composites reinforced with OB had 43% higher flexural strength, 46% higher impact resistance, 56% higher Young's modulus, similar modulus of elasticity, 33% lower tensile strength, and better soundabsorption properties. OB-PP composites with optimized properties have the potential to be used in industrial applications such as support layers in automotive interiors, ceiling tiles, and office panels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2366-2373
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 15 2010


  • Biofibers
  • Biopolymers
  • Composites
  • Mechanical properties
  • Poly(propylene) (PP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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