Abaca (Musa Textilis Nee), commercially known as Manila hemp, is indigenous to the Philippines and is the strongest among natural fibers. It is three times stronger than coniferous fiber and is far more resistant to salt water decomposition than most vegetable fibers. It belongs to the family Musaceae and looks like the banana plant except that its leaves are shinier, narrower and more tapered. The Philippines is presently the world’s largest producer of abaca, supplying the majority of the total world abaca requirement.

Abaca fiber has remarkably high physical strength properties such as tensile, burst, folding, tear and inter-fiber bonding strength, which are primarily due to its high Runkel ratio (the ratio of two times the fiber cell wall thickness over the fiber cell lumen width).

The Abaca pulp is initially porous. Its porosity is modified by our manufacturing process depending on the final paper product to be made. All these properties contribute to abaca pulp’s suitability for the manufacture of specialty papers, such as currency or bank notes, electrolytic condenser papers, filter papers, tea bags, meat casings, disposables, cigarette paper and non-wovens, among others. Likewise abaca pulp is being used for strengthening facial tissues, table napkins, diapers and recycled papers.

The current international clamor for the use of biodegradable materials (instead of plastics and other synthetic materials) has forced many industries to shift back to environmentally friendly natural raw materials such as abaca.

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