NATHPRO: Development of NATural fiber High performance pultrusion PROfiles (SUSPRISE Joint Call)

Development of strong, light, weather and heat resistant natural fiber profiles by combining the the advantages of a pultrusion technology with the advantages of natural fibers.

Short Description




Initial Situation

In the building and transport industry there is always a need for high strength, light weight profiles that are weather resistible, green and low of costs. Most common construction materials like wood, plastics and metals for exterior applications have problems of degradation by corrosion, sunlight, heat and moisture fluctuations or have a high environmental impact and energy requirement.

Pultruded profiles, a combination of extrusion and pulling of fibers trough a dye, are mainly made by glass fibers reinforced plastics. The have extreme chemical and weather resistance properties combined with high strength and stiffness. An alternative material technology is a natural fiber reinforced profile made with pultrusion technology. Motives for replacing glasfiber can be weight saving, lower raw material prices, a renewable resource, lower environmental impact, 100% compostable and CO2 neutral recycling.


In this project we want to combine the advantages of a pultrusion technology with the advantages of natural fibers to develop the strongest, lightest and most weather and heat resistant profiles that nature and man can make: better then (hard) wood and for a competitive price. These profiles can be applied as an aesthetic and construction component in the building, furniture and transport industry. Possible products could be siding, decking, fences, windshields, garden chairs, tables, benches, barns, stables and holiday houses, park bridges, window frames, bus and train interior panels, exhibition constructions, ceilings, transport containers, pallet boxes and wall and floor construction profiles for trailers. Furthermore the advantage of the possibility of combining natural fibers, yarn or even fabric, with paper, wood or compostable foam will be analyzed within this project. Thus it might be possible to create a material with can be "tuned" for different applications, giving it more strength were needed in creating functional possibilities to combine profiles to a complex construction. Besides the mechanical advantages aesthetic possibilities like painting, coloring and texturing and laminating should be developed.


This project starts with research on the applications that have the most potential in the market and that have the best feasibility in development, production, construction and market introduction. Material, product, production and market research is directed to those applications and guided by an innovation methodology. The activities in the project are: establishment of the requirements and other properties; generation and testing of production and construction methods and solutions for the different design, construction, production and connection problems; Choosing of the best methods and solutions and the production of prototype process and of profiles for different applications; Developing of the production processes and facilities for the new high performance natural profiles.

Expected Results

In potential natural fiber reinforced pultruded plastics (NFP) can be made for half the price at the same stiffness as stiff and 20% lighter then similar glass fiber reinforced pultruded (GFP) plastics and as strong and 50% lighter than aluminum.


Project Partners

Project management

Ir. Daan van Rooijen
KIEM sustainable innovations (NL)

Project or cooperation partner

  • DLR Institute of Composite Structures and Adaptive Systems (D)
  • Prince Fiber Tech B.V (NL)
  • Sachsenleinen GmbH (D)
  • Dynea Austria GmbH (A)

Contact Address

Ir. Daan van Rooijen
KIEM sustainable innovations (NL)
Tel.: +31 599 648798

Dr.-ing. Dipl.-chem Ulrich Riedel
DLR Institute of Composite Structures and Adaptive Systems (D)
Tel.: +49 531 295 2865