Borrowing from Nature

Fibers as strong as a Tree

How do trees inspire us? Where does coordination simplify our everyday work? And how do you achieve selective reactions?

In designing VESTAPE tapes, which are reinforced with continuous fibers, Evonik’s developers borrowed a trick from nature: Carbon or glass fibers, no more than a few micrometers in thickness, are embedded in a high-performance polymer matrix to give the product enormously high strength and simultaneously low weight. The explanation? The thinner a fiber, the stronger it is proportionally in the longitudinal direction. This is the principle by which wood achieves its stability and flexibility: Cellulose fibers reinforce the matrix of lignin and hemicellulose that makes up the cell walls.