Natural fibres composites in musical instruments
Have you guessed that natural fibres composites have made an inroad in musical instruments? Finnish guitar manufacturer Flaxwood has worldwide recommended itself in this respect and the resonant material does correspond with the demand of sustainable development
Already in the 1990s the development work began in Northern Karelia (SF) as part of a comprehensive project financed by the European Social Fund. The project supported material, instrument construction and musical experience already present in the region.
First the material had to be selected and it had to be acoustically suitable for musical instruments. Hence the development work concentrated on electric guitars and the first one was manufactured in 2002.
At an early stage, Kareline Oy was in charge of the material development. Today its production line and brand are owned by Plasthill Oy. Following years, Flaxwood has tested new materials and also makes use of materials of other Finish composite manufacturers.
Flaxwood has patented its application using natural composite fibres in musical instruments and from the very beginning the company set sight on the global market, namely on the USA and Japan. In 2009 it launched a novel Flaxwood guitar hybrid model, and the wooden body was combined with a composite neck. The company manufactures composite instruments such as violins, basses and drums. This year it plans subcontracting to enlarge its mark, however no details are yet made available.
The material combines the best qualities of natural fibres and thermoplastic. There is no longer the need to fell rainforest trees and therefore the products are also a contribution to a sustainable development and no one has questioned the quality, sound or feel of the instruments. Natural fibre composite is always even in quality and does not react to humidity variations as wood does. Good technical properties expand its opportunities far beyond instruments into numerous branches of industry, such as the furniture and automotive industry as well as entertainment electronics. Products crated from environmentally friendly natural fibre composites can be disposed of by burning or recycling them into new products.