Our Services

Our services provide industry with a means to model and assess the performance of different biomass processing techniques, to explore markets for innovative biofibre applications and to optimize the processes for incorporating biofibres into composite materials.

 

Our FibreCITY team characterizes the wide range of biomass and biocomposite materials such as feedstocks, biofibres, fibres, mats, composites, panels, powders, resins, compounded blends, additives and materials along the various stages of the supply chain. We develop models to grade the biofibres and predict the optimal treatment and processing methods for targeted applications. From field to product, our services support a wide spectrum of industry clients and partners including farmers, producers, decorticators, test facilities, mat producers, material distributors, resin developers/suppliers, composite part fabricators and OEMs.

 

For a complete list of our equipment, please click here

 

For more information or for a free custom quote for any of our services, please contact:

 

Frank Wheeler
Manager, FibreCITY
(204) 262-3400 Ext. 235
fwheeler@compositesinnovation.ca

Decortication

Our decortication facility has a research-scale agricultural straw decortication line for piloting and optimizing shive separation and fibre cleaning processing steps for targeted applications. This low-energy high-yielding system has the capability to process an estimated 100 kg of straw per hour, depending on the equipment settings, the type of plant and the properties of the material such as degree of retting or dryness.

Our decortication line includes:

  • Roller calendars (crushers)
  • Upper shaker units
  • Fibre transporting conveyors and belts

Sample/Surface Preparation

To facilitate the investigation of biofibre, biomass and biocomposite materials, we have experience and equipment to support various sample and surface preparation.

Our sample/surface preparation services include:

  • Cutting composite specimens for testing
  • Decorticating straw using textile-quality equipment or by hand as required
  • Producing straw cross-sections or ultra-thin specimens for slides
  • Surface polishing using ion beam milling

Material Properties

FibreCITY has the capability to provide you with the fundamental physical properties of your materials to meet the industry requirement you need. With the available resources in our lab, our team can determine those properties on a wide range of materials from biofibres and biocomposites to traditional composite materials and resins. We understand that industries can be diverse and navigating the testing requirements and test facilities needed to complete 3rd party testing can be a challenge. Through our in-house capabilities, external partners or relationships with 3rd party test facilities, we can help you develop a test program that meets your needs and if preferred, manage all or part of its completion.

Our in-house material properties services include:

  • Density
  • Fibre tensile properties
  • Fibre dimensional analysis
  • Moisture absorption and desorption (uptake and release)
  • Crystallinity
  • Birefringence
  • Orientation
  • Thermal stability
  • Moisture content
  • Burn off
  • Acid digestion
  • Cure kinetics
  • Composite mechanical characterization
  • Fracture Analysis

Imaging

Our FibreCITY lab is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation to provide imaging details on a microscopic to a macroscopic level, giving our clients the visual information they need to understand their materials.

Our imaging services include:

  • Ultra-high resolution imaging of uncoated and non-conductive specimens at variable humidities, pressures and temperatures
  • Micro and macro scale measurement of surface topology and features including defects, voids and cracks
  • Optical sectioning, 3D imaging and reconstruction
  • Fluorescence imaging for chemical distribution
  • Image stitching for larger fields of view

Chemical Identification

Our chemical identification capabilities will be of interest to you if you are investigating impurities or contaminants in your parts, attempting to identify useful compounds in your biomass, assessing heterogeneity of or between your materials and measuring the results of deliberate chemical modifications such as additives or treatments or undesirable chemical changes due to weathering. Our FibreCITY team has the means to analyze the bulk chemistry of components as well as high-resolution chemistry maps showing changes in chemistry across small areas.

Our chemical identification services include:

  • Presence of impurities and contaminants
  • Fibre-resin bonding and interactions
  • Chemical heterogeneity
  • Hydrophobic, hydrophilic and chemical specificity
  • Kinetics during curing or other treatment processes
  • Molecular orientation and packing
  • Thermal damage/aging
  • Weathering
  • Determination of ingredients, materials and unknowns
  • Handheld/compact mobile devices to conduct investigations at the industry site whether in the field, warehouse, factory floor, production line or testing facility

Interface

FibreCITY understands that the surface properties of materials play an integral role in the wetting, bonding or adsorbing required in your applications and we have brought together equipment from many industries (pharmaceutical, textile, polymer and biosciences) to assess surfaces in a holistic way that is uniquely done at FibreCITY. We can help you with analyzing and optimizing the performance of your treatments, the quality of your interfaces and the heterogeneity of your materials.

Our interface services include:

  • Interfacial chemistry and bonding
  • Adhesion and cohesion
  • Contact angle and wicking
  • Wetting behavior of solids with different liquids
  • Fibre-matrix interface strength
  • Surface energy

Sample Tracking and Handling

We have a radio frequency identification (RFID) system to track incoming samples and materials as well as materials along the various stages of processing. The tracking system provides assurances that your materials are being handled effectively and efficiently throughout our processes and that information is being compiled and audited with the utmost quality in mind.

Our RFID system includes:

  • USB RFID readers at experiment stations
  • Handheld ultrahigh frequency bulk RFID readers
  • RFID printer for encoding and customized label printing

Standards and Data Analytics

Our team is developing a set of reference standards and methods (e.g. ASTM standards for biofibre density measurement) for widespread use to enable comparison across industries and organizations. We also have a suite of software platforms that enables us to analyze the wealth of data and integrate the information into meaningful metrics of importance to industry.

Our standards and data analytics services include:

  • Structured databases for including background history of samples and rapid retrieval/correlation of data
  • Developing models based on machine learning to predict parameters of interest and outcomes
  • Multivariate and chemometrics analysis methods