First results growing fibers in kumbucha


#1

I have been doing tests with growing natural fibers in kumbucha.
So far i have tested pine needles, lashing rope, the bark and the core of twigs (seperatly), and hay.

As this was my first time growing kumbucha i was very pleased with the outcome.

I tested the diffirent fibers by putting them in between 2 pieces and then let them dry.

when dry they looked like this.

For my new batch I am focusing more on natural materials, that (other than possibly giving more strength) are also good insulators. for example sheep wool, cattail (the bit at the top that is soft),…


#2

Nice documentation! Have you compared pulling your “reinforced” sheets and pulling non-reinforced ones? To know the difference in strength.


#3

In my thesis that I’m finishing this month, I did compare tensile strength of some ‘composites’. I used only one type of fibre and 4 types of production.

  1. grow the cellulose through the fibers ‘in-situ’, so in sterile conditions at the surface of the culture liquid (difficult to keep it there), then harvest and leave to air dry.

  2. same as (1.) but dehydrate instantaneously through a heat press.

  3. production after growing: place fibers between cellulose sheets while drying.



  4. mix the cellulose after harvesting, spread it out over fibres and air dry.
    mixed, with and without fibres:

the 4 dried samples together:
DSC01846|690x517

I performed tensile tests on those samples and conclusion is that the adhesion between the matrix (=cellulose) and the fibres doesn’t satisfy. Although, the cellulose does already provide more strength to the fibres! in the sheet itself, the loose fibre ‘sheet’ becomes a real sheet (some stiffness etc), and the tensile strength increases too, probably because thanks to the matrix of cellulose the different fibres work better together to resist the strength.

In a month or so I’m finished and I will share my complete thesis, with more precise data and lots of other (mainly strength-related) tests.