Re-use of jute fiber hybrid nonwoven breather within laminated composite applications: a case study

Lu Tong, Xin Wang, Jianfeng Tong, Xiaosu Yi, Xiaoling Liu, Chris Rudd

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


Jute/polyester hybrid nonwoven mats were developed as an alternative to the conventional nylon or polyester breather to reduce the use of synthetic polymers and associated waste generated during composite manufacturing. However, end-of-life breathers still face the challenge of waste management. In this study, a circular economy strategy for multiple applications of waste hybrid nonwoven breathers was thus proposed to study their recycling possibilities. Hybrid nonwoven breathers were first used to facilitate the autoclave forming of carbon fiber-reinforced plastics, and non-destructive and mechanical tests were performed to determine the quality. The used breathers were then recycled and reused in three ways: directly as reinforcing material and in hybrid combinations with glass fibers and ramie fibers for the production of new composites. Results of quality checks show that the hybrid nonwoven breather is a viable alternative to commercial breathers. The thermal, mechanical, and damping properties of the composites incorporating reused material were investigated. The hybrid nonwoven breather/Glass fiber composites show superior thermal and mechanical properties as well as improved damping properties. The hybrid nonwoven breather/Ramie fiber composites have the advantages of low density and high loss factor reaching up to 0.1572. The product of specific modulus and loss factor was then used as the figure of merit to estimate the structural damping properties of the composites. Both glass fiber and ramie fiber hybrid composites presented a higher figure of merit with 0.86 and 0.83 GPa/(g/cm3), respectively. Therefore, hybrid nonwoven breathers can be adapted to replace synthetic materials in semi-structural applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00621
JournalSustainable Materials and Technologies
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • Breather
  • Circular economy
  • Hybrid
  • Mechanical properties
  • Structural damping
  • Thermal stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science (all)
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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