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The Utilization of Industrial Hemp as a Structural Material

  • Wirick, Matthew C
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2021
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The need for alternative materials within the construction industry is increasing as more projects are undertaken. Many of the natural resources currently used are being depleted. Various alternatives, such as using recycled concrete as a replacement for aggregate, are being researched and applied to projects with the purpose of reducing construction waste. However, substitutes are needed especially when it comes to structural materials. Industrial hemp is a fast-growing fibrous plant that can be made into a variety of goods and has properties that give it a high enough strength to be fabricated into products that can handle loads such as rope. Hemp is known to take up less land area, requires less water, is a resource that does not need to be mined out of the ground and is carbon negative. There is research and application of various products made of hemp, most of which are nonstructural, such as substitutes for insulation, but there are few for structural purposes. The purpose of this paper is to explore all the applications of hemp that have been researched and to analyze an experiment that tested structural hemp-based beams that can act as a substitute for various engineered wood products.

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