Natural materials, such as wood fibres or wheat straw, molded and bonded together with a natural or synthetic resin. They sometimes crossover with biofibre reinforced plastics.
A biocomposite is a material formed by a matrix (resin) and a reinforcement of natural fibers (usually derived from plants or cellulose). With wide-ranging uses from environment-friendly biodegradable composites to biomedical composites for drug/gene delivery, tissue engineering applications and cosmetic orthodontics. They often mimic the structures of the living materials involved in the process in addition to the strengthening properties of the matrix that was used but still providing biocompatibility, e.g. in creating scaffolds in bone tissue engineering. Those markets are significantly rising, mainly because of the increase in oil price, and recycling and environment necessities.
Biocomposites are characterised by the fact that:
the petrochemical resin is replaced by a vegetable or animal resin, and/or
the bolsters (fiberglass, carbon fibre or talc) are replaced by natural fibre (wood fibres, hemp, flax, sisal, jute...)