Development of novel building composites based on hemp and multi-functional silica matrix

Atif Hussain*, Juliana Calabria-Holley, Mike Lawrence, Martin P. Ansell, Yunhong Jiang, Diane Schorr, Pierre Blanchet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


This study focuses on the development of novel bio-composites using a silica matrix that provides dual functionality: as a hydrophobic surface treatment and as a binder for hemp-shiv. The hydrophilic nature of hemp shiv, a plant based aggregate, results in composites having poor interfacial adhesion, weak mechanical properties and long drying times. In this work, sol-gel process has been utilised to manufacture durable low density hemp based composites. Morphological characterisation by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed that hemp shiv was embedded well in the matrix. Detailed chemical analysis using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) indicate the presence of water soluble and ethanol soluble extractives leached from the hemp shiv which are incorporated into the silica matrix inducing the binding effect. The composites were water resistant and showed good mechanical performance having the potential to develop novel thermal insulation building materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-273
Number of pages8
JournalComposites Part B: Engineering
Early online date25 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of novel building composites based on hemp and multi-functional silica matrix'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this