The privileged conditions of location of the Azores Archipelago originate a unique subtropical oceanic climate, with reduced annual thermal amplitude and frequent occurrence of precipitation, allowing the existence of a very diversified flora, with a great variety of biotopes and ecosystems. This fact leads to the existence of a great diversity of agricultural production, estimated that more than 80% of the territory is directly dedicated to activities in the primary sector, translating as one of the main drivers of the regional economy.
At the same time, there is a need and opportunity for the development and investment in innovative products, known as eco-products, for different application areas, capable of minimizing the impacts caused by them on the environment. This new class of products, and taking into account the geographic and economic context of this region, is mainly aimed at small scale production and niche markets, seeking to reduce the dependence on imports from foreign markets and, consequently, the associated transport costs.
Development of EcoCompositions reinforced by pineapple fibers for architectural components and urban furniture and which, through its technological advantages, also has a dragging effect of technology in different industries, namely: interior architecture, vessels, aeronautical industry, among others.
The project presents the development of a pineapple extraction technique that can be implemented by the company. A job that involves the identification and selection of the pineapple plant for the extraction of fiber, since not all species of the plant produce the fibers with the ideal characteristics for their use in composite materials.
The technique of controlled addition of fibrous materials is also studied, that is, what amounts of fibers can be used and what are their consequences on the performance of the composite material and on the combination technique.
The Pineapple Composite project gave rise to cladding panels of vertical elements - walls, where the main aim is to explore the aesthetic and technical potential (acoustic insulation) of natural pineapple fiber. In the case of urban furniture, garden benches were developed, where in addition to the aesthetic component, it seeks to explore the mechanical strength properties of pineapple fibers in order to reinforce the Eco Composite.
The Pineapple Composite project (ACORES-01-0247-FEDER-000007) is promoted by Boa Fruta – Promoção e comercialização de Fruta, Lda.