BETEL NUT FIBER

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

Introduction:


Betel nut fiber is a natural, fruit fiber that is obtained from the husk of the beetle nut fruit. “Betel nut”, “Areca catechu”, “Areca” and “Arecaceae” is the common name, botanical name, genus, and family respectively. It is native to The Philippines but is now widely cultivates in the tropics of East Asia. India, China, and Indonesia are the major producers of the betel nut. It Grows best when the temperature lies in the range 16 to 38 ͦc and prefers annual rainfall in the range 1500 to 5000 mm. Approximately 2.50-2.75 g of areca fiber can be produced from each husk. The husk is about 15–30% of the weight of the raw nut. The nuts inside are used in the factories to produce supari, medicine, and coloring. The epidermis of the fruit is thrown out as an agro-waste or been used as a material for burning. The outer husk is used for textile purposes as it has a rich source of cellulose. It can grow up to a staggering height of 50 to 70 feet. Lifespan is about 100 years and tress can continue fruiting for 30 to 60 years.



Extraction Of Fiber: In order to remove the seeds primarily. The Betel Nuts have to be crushed. The husk which is covering the nut is been processed by the retting process. In the retting process, the crushed betel nuts were rinsed and soaked in water for 2 days to ease the fiber extraction. While still wet, the outer layers of the betelnut fruit nothing but husk were removed. Fiber is extracted by hand pick method or fiber extractor machine. Then the extracted fiber is rinsed with an excess of clean water to make sure the fiber is out of impurities. To remove excess water content in the fiber the rinsed fiber has to be sun-dried for a day.

Chemical composition:

Properties:

  • Length: 30-60 mm.

  • Width: 24.25µm.

  • Diameter: 28-90 mm.

  • Density: 1.3470g/cc.

  • Moisture content: 11.76%.

  • Strength: 2.54 ± 0.5GPa.

  • Elongation at break: 15±3%.

  • Mean single fiber strength: 65.0g.

  • Mean bundle fiber strength: 843g.

  • SEM image: a bone-like longitudinal structure with a wood-like surface.

  • Crystallization of the fiber at -1.014 m W/mg: 92.5 ͦ C.

  • Elongation: 1.6% or 4 mm.

  • The fiber is rough and brittle.

  • Fibers are stiffer due to the content of lignin.

Benefits:

  • It is biodegradable, renewable.

  • It can be recycled.

Uses: Used in making thick boards, fluffy cushions, and nonwoven fabrics. Betel nut fiber can be used for making composites. The composites manufactured with betel nut fiber and epoxy used for marine applications, electrical insulating components, lightweight components, automobile industry, and chemical industry.


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