Location: Plant Polymer Research
Title: Reinforcement effect of biomass carbon and protein in elastic biocomposites Author
Submitted to: Polymer Composites
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 5, 2013
Publication Date: May 1, 2013
Citation: Jong, L. 2013. Reinforcement effect of biomass carbon and protein in elastic biocomposites. Polymer Composites. 34(5):697-706. Interpretive Summary: Many consumer products such as seals, automobile belts, hoses, tire treads, and various types of molded objects are reinforced with carbon black made from burning petroleum oil or natural gas. We are developing agricultural based renewable filler to improve rubber properties. In this development, we use abundant renewable biomass charcoal and nano-size soy protein particles to increase the mechanical strength of natural rubber. The biomass charcoal was generated from plant wastes and reduced to submicron size to increase its ability as rubber filler. The functions of biomass charcoal and soy protein in natural rubber are elucidated with various experiments and theoretical interpretations. This development will improve our environment by utilizing plant wastes instead of burning petroleum oil and it will also create new markets for soybean products.
Technical Abstract: Biomass carbon and soy protein were used to reinforce natural rubber biocomposites. The particle size of biomass carbon were reduced and characterized with elemental analysis, x-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, and particle size analysis. The rubber composite reinforced with the biomass carbon/soy protein and the composite reinforced with the biomass carbon of higher carbon content show useful tensile properties at an optimum filler fraction. The model analysis of the stress-strain behaviours provides insight into filler network characteristics. For the highly filled composites, the biomass carbon have less constraint on the polymer chains as shown by the temperature and frequency dependent modulus as well as the model analysis of stress softening effect. The presence of natural rubber protein improves the filler-polymer adhesion for the composites reinforced with biomass carbon/soy protein.