The recyclability, biodegradability and cost effectiveness of natural fibers combined with their high specific mechanical properties and lightweight structure have attracted significant interest. Cactus fibers demonstrate interesting energy dissipation properties under cyclic flexural loading as a fiber composite reinforcement and show a significantly high flexural to axial stiffness ratio of 7:1 and a 4.2-fold increase in the energy dissipation per matrix volume [1]. A multiscale materials characterization methodology [2] for the evaluation of morphological characteristics on a macro, meso, micro and nano scale through various microscopy methods revealed a fractal-like morphology for the cactus fibers. Composite materials were developed using Polypropylene (PP), and cactus fiber powder obtained via ball milling. Under compressive loading a 33% increase in the compressive modulus for PP composites at 0.4% by weight was observed. Morphological data obtained enabled the generation of 3D rendered models and 3D printed analogues of the cactus structure that revealed a high specific bending modulus as compared to their ASTM standard counterparts.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECCM 2018 - 18th European Conference on Composite Materials
Publisher Applied Mechanics Laboratory
ISBN (Electronic)9781510896932
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Event18th European Conference on Composite Materials, ECCM 2018 - Athens, Greece
Duration: 24 Jun 201828 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameECCM 2018 - 18th European Conference on Composite Materials


Conference18th European Conference on Composite Materials, ECCM 2018


  • Bio-inspiration
  • Cactus
  • Composites
  • Defense


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