In cellulose fibres, such as cotton or hemp, I've noticed different percentages of lignin and cellulose. How does this affect their tensile strength and toughness? Are there any other important factors? Thanks!
Lignin and cellulose in cotton, work together like the epoxy resin and the glass fibers in fiberglass composite materials (a fiberglass boat, for example). So, the cellulose is the fibrous component and is the primary load-bearing element. While lignin is the polymeric matrix that provides stiffness and rigidity.
The more cellulose is in cotton, the higher is the tensile strength.