Natural Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composites or NFPCs are mostly used in non-load bearing indoor components in civil engineering because of their vulnerability to environmental attack. Some of the natural fibres used in the manufacturing of NFPCs are sisal, coir, oil palm, jute, pineapple, hemp and bamboo. The fibres seen in the image are possibly coir pith.
IIT Madras set up six centres in the year 1973. The Composite Structures (FRP) Research Centre, also known as the Fibre Reinforced Plastics (FRP) Centre, was one of them. The centre was officially opened in March 1974 and its key objectives and services offered, as listed in the 1974 IITM Annual Report were: Research and development of raw materials and composites, process design and development, mould design and development, process machinery design and fabrication, testing and quality control services, graduate and postgraduate teaching and a lot more.