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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Dairy and Functional Foods Research » Research » Research Project #425793

Research Project: Development of Composite Materials with More Cellulosic Fibers and Less Conventional Thermoplastics for Light Weight - Bearing Applications

Location: Dairy and Functional Foods Research

Project Number: 8072-41000-102-02-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2014
End Date: May 31, 2018

Objective:
The objective of this collaboration is to develop economically viable biobased composites that consist of more than 50 wt % biomass or biobased, or their modified derivatives, including cellulose residues and less than 45% of conventional thermoplastics. The resultant composites should have the appropriate mechanical properties that can meet the requirements of the automotive industries.

Approach:
Composite bioplastics from cellulosic fibers and various conventional thermoplastics will be developed by the methods of (1) extrusion and injection molding, and (2) compression-heating using a specially designed “molding box” for the assessment of shaping under high stress/deformation-formation. The physical/mechanical/ structural properties of the resultant materials will be investigated using thermogravimetric analysis, Instron testing, thermodynamic analytical instrumentation, such as DSC, DMA, etc, and microscopy. A series of composites with various compositions and ratios of components, and prepared under different operating conditions such as temperature, pressure, stress duration, as well as the design of the “molding box” , will be evaluated and optimized in order to obtain final products with the highest cellulose content and appropriate mechanical properties that can be used by the automotive industries.