Coir goes global, finds new usages in European homes

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 21 (IANS) The humble coir, used in many Indian houses as doormats and carpets, has found new usages in Europe as a material for building sound barriers, stylish compound walls and garden landscaping, says a Kerala official.

In Europe, coir is being used for building modular acoustic walls and landscaping gardens, says K.R. Anil, director of the National Coir Research and Management Institute (NCRMI), the nodal agency for Coir Kerala that leads R&D efforts in the state.

"Dubbed as greenscreen acoustic barriers, these lightweight modular walls are claimed to offer sound insulation of up to 35 decibels. Panels of the barrier are made of two rows of poles made of 100 percent recyclable material and with durable, natural coconut fibre filled inside," Nair said.

In Germany, coir yarn walls are increasingly being used for landscaping as well as for sound proofing, he added.

Garden plants are trailed along the walls made of sturdy coir yarn, providing excellent support for creepers and vines.

Coir also retains moisture for long periods which means the plants trailing on a yarn wall need less watering than on other surfaces.

"In The Netherlands, coconut husk, from which the fibrous coir is extracted, is being used as a noise prevention solution in homes located along highways and other high-traffic roads, in offices and around sporting arenas," Nair said.

Innovative applications of coir will be on display at the Coir Kerala-2013 exhibition, which is to be held at Alappuzha, about 150 km from here, in the first week of next month.

Besides, delegates from around 60 countries participating in the event would also get to hear discussions on some interesting new developments in the industry, Nair said.

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