The controversy in hemp comes because it is a cannabis plant. It is related to the marijuana plant. However, the industrial hemp has low concentration of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the ingredient that causes a high effect. Hemp is a cannabis plant that has low THC concentration. The plant is safe, but countries that have legalized the cultivation issue license to the farmers. The reason behind that is mainly to avoid misuse. But how can hemp become plastics?
For many years, petrochemicals have been the raw materials in the manufacture of plastics. However, plants are also sources of cellulose that can create biodegradable plastics. Hemp is among the richest sources of the same.
Henry Ford comes in the mind of many people whenever you mention hemp plastics. He was the first person to develop them. If he could figure developing a car with the material, then you can imagine its strength. His pictures indicating a model-T and an axe are clear proof of the strength in the fiber composites.
Hemp Plastics Facts You Should Know
1. The characteristics
It is recyclable and biodegradable. But its eco-friendly property doesn’t dent its sturdiness. The level of stiffness in hemp plastics can be equivalent to the regular plastic. Besides, it provides good heat, ultraviolet, and dimensional balance. The material is heat resistant, but the most exceptional feature in some of its varieties is that they are also resistant to flame.
2. The practicality
It can be an easy substitute for regular plastics that makes products such as laptop covers, blenders, iron boxes, etc. Already, it is becoming popular in the manufacture of packaging materials and automobile parts.
3. The Specialty
It is among the most robust natural fiber available in the world. While scientists spend days and nights addressing the regular plastics’ ecological harm, here comes an entirely biodegradable material. Its durability is several times higher than polypropylene plastic. Besides, it does not threaten the safety and health of the environment and living things.
Types of Hemp Plastics
1. Hemp cellulose
Cellulose is a raw material in the making of paper. It also makes several other products such as cellophane, celluloid, and rayon.
2. Cellophane, rayon and celluloid
It is possible to extract the three bio-plastics from hemp cellulose. Rayon and cellophane fall in a classification of regenerated cellulose fibers. Celluloid is a product of cellulose nitrate and a plasticizer known as camphor.
3. Hemp-based plastics
Composite plastics consist of reinforcement fibers and polymer matrix. Hemp fibers are reinforcers in the composite materials due to their tensile strength. There are also bio-composites, which usually consists of at least one major organic component.
4. Pure bio-composite materials
Already, some bio-materials entirely consist of organic substances with hemp as filler material.
The prohibition of cultivation is the major drawback in the full utilization of hemp. Although the legalization of hemp a few years ago in the United States, many other countries still uphold their stringent measures. The many decades of prohibition have led to slow infrastructural development to cultivate and process the plant.