After President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently gave messages of determination in industrial hemp production, public institutions, the business world and entrepreneurs rolled up their sleeves to work on the industry.
As the awareness of the industrial dimensions of hemp, which can generate 50,000 products of seeds, fibers, root and leaves, has increased, a company that has already succeeded in producing the final product from hemp composites has emerged in Turkey.
TechnoArge, a Turkish research company founded by two entrepreneurs, has been working on "hemp composites" in the composite industry, which has directly influenced dozens of industries such as aerospace, automotive and construction, for three years.
Headquartered in Avcılar, Istanbul, the company manufactures bullet-proof armor, X-ray devices and hand disinfectants with composites (bringing different materials together to show a new feature) made from hemp.
Developing innovative products from hemp, TechnoArge also made national and global patent applications for hemp composites.
TechnoArge General Manager Muzaffer Gökçimen told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the company has made innovations focusing on public health for 19 years and that they use these composites by paying regard to public health, adding the industrial hemp fiber used in composite making absorbs radiation.
Gökçimen said they mostly make public health-related inventions.
"We realize innovations that do not exist in our country. We scarcely sell our products in Turkey. We mostly make overseas sales on demand," he added, underlining the hemp issue has recently become quite popular in Turkey.
"We have actually been working on the hemp issue for three years. We are very far ahead in the world in terms of composite hemp. We are approaching the top spot on X-ray devices from hemp. Combining them was very useful," he continued. "Hemp is blocking radiation. We set out with the idea to cancel out the risk of radiation in suitcase controls at airports and disinfect the luggage, which was quite successful. While passing through the X-ray for safety at airports, the suitcases will also be disinfected."
Gökçimen informed that they received the patents of X-ray devices made from hemp composites in 144 countries. He added that the device puts safety tags on the suitcases and disinfects it in seconds. He further explained that composites are generally made by methods such as "hand lay-up," "pressing" and "elastic pressing," while they produce hemp composites with the mixed method using both hard and soft surfaces.
"When we were making our bullet-proof vests, we encountered problems caused by the stiffness and weight of the vest. We thought hemp was light and wondered if it could be used in the process. The tests were very successful. We now produce both light and much more durable bullet-proof vests in accordance with the body's form, by using both soft and hard parts of the hemp," Gökçimen said, stressing that these are 20 times stronger than normal bullet-proof vests and that they can now produce them with a locality rate of 100 percent. "Normally, fibers and Kevlar are used in bulletproof vests. We use resin in addition to hemp," he said adding their vests are light, inexpensive and comfortable to use.
Gökçimen stated they have plans to produce bumpers and interior parts from hemp composites for the automotive supplier industry within a year. TechnoArge Marketing and Sales Director Selim Özler, on the other hand, said biological epidemics and viruses threaten public health and that TechnoArge has developed solutions to prevent these potential problems.
Özler pointed out that there are serious viruses in suitcases traveling with people and that these viruses are transported to homes through suitcases, highlighting that they took precautions with the X-ray they developed and prevented the radiation spreading to the environment with the device, which has a hemp coating of 65 percent.
Özler also said the sales of six X-ray devices to Istanbul Airport are about to be completed. He stressed the moving stairway band disinfecting device they developed could be an important example of innovation in the world. He explained that the moving rail band is disinfected with a non-alcoholic material for 24 hours and that the tests for the said device were successfully completed at Sabiha Gökcen Airport, while test studies are still in progress at Istanbul Airport.
Selim Özler also noted that they developed hand disinfectant machines for use in crowded places and that these machines have been in use in the passport section of Atatürk Airport for two and a half months following the tests. He said there have been more than 13,000 hand-washes in this period and the coating material they made with hemp composite for the hand disinfectant machine prevents the outflow of diseases.