THE BIOCOMPOSITES CENTRE / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY THE BIOCOMPOSITES CENTRE / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sisal. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of hemp fibres from a sisal plant, Agave sisalana. Hemp fibres are used to make rope, and are mixed with plastic to make biocomposite materials which are stronger than plastic by itself. The fibres come from the plant's leaves, and can be up to 1.5 metres long. They have a complex structure of winding strands of cellulose which are surrounded by layers of hemicellulose & lignin. The fibres are strong, cheap, and light. They are a renewable resource, biodegradable, and are easier & safer to handle than man-made materials. Image taken at the BioComposites Centre in Bangor, Great Britain.
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