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.
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).
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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