Research Team Sets Eyes on a Hemp-Based Rebar

A team of researchers from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute set their sights on the development of a concrete reinforcement bar made out of hemp. Research continues.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

In late January 2022, a group of New York state officials collected at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to discuss the "Seed to City Hemp Initiative" leveraging the Institute's expertise in design, engineering, and business for the development of the hemp industry in New York - specifically the use of industrial hemp. 

Despite the reported benefits of using hemp fiber and hurd (a woody inner core of the plant's stalk) in the building and construction industries like a lower carbon footprint, "there are technical hurdles that need to be overcome." This includes the processing methods and equipment to avoid damaging the material, property data, manufacturing methods, and "lack of higher value end-products for the construction industry."

Among their ideas in development is a natural fiber-reinforced thermoplastic rebar made with hemp in an effort to provide an alternative to steel and address corrosion issues potentially increasing the lifespan for concrete building and infrastructure construction. 

Development and research are ongoing. 

Read the full announcement at Sustainable Building Through Hemp | News & Events (