Global warming occurring from carbon dioxide emissions brings to us ecological awareness such as reuse and recycle of products, environmental protection and saving of energy. The number of studies and practical applications on materials recyclability is being increased, as seen in the various uses of green materials and recycles of petroleum-based materials. Natural fibers are not only light weight and strong, but also abundantly available and eco-friendly. Many companies, for instance, TOYOTA and Daimler-Chrysler, make great efforts to apply natural fibers, such as kenaf, sisal and flax, for part elements of products in place of synthetic fibers. Composites reinforced with natural fibers, i.e. "Green Composites", have thus enhanced biodegradability, combustibility, non toxicity, decreased environmental pollution, light weight, low cost, ease of recyclability and so on. Therefore, it is expected that green composites should effectively be used in the coming sustainable society.
From the background mentioned above, the JSMS (The Society of Materials Science, Japan) Committee on Composite Materials held in the past the First IWGC (International Workshop on Green Composites) in 2002 at Tokushima, Japan, the Second IWGC in 2004 at Yamaguchi, the Third IWGC in 2005 at Kyoto, the Fourth IWGC in 2006 at Tokyo, and the Fifth IWGC in 2008 at Fukushima. The committee decided to have the Sixth IWGC outside Japan, which was held at Kumoh National Institute of Technology in Gumi, Korea in 2010.
Since March 2011, we have experienced that the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant caused serious problems in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami devastating northeastern Japan. On the present state, radiation emissions are mostly subsiding and the Japanese society is returning to normal activities. However, the Fukushima accident has undoubtedly influenced our perspective on the high energy- and mass-consumption society. Many governments and companies are intensifying efforts for R&D of renewable energy and resources such as "green composites".
We are thinking that the IWGCs had taken the initiative in research field on green materials with various properties, and more necessity for the development of green composites is raised among related researchers and engineers of the world wide. With the aim of extending green composites further, the JSME Committee on Composite Materials decided to hold the Seventh International Workshop on Green Composites on 28th to 30th August, 2012 at Hamamatsu, Japan
The workshop will take place the 28-30 August 2012, in Hamamatsu, Hapan.