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Title: Naturally designed strong, tough and renewable biocomposites

item Ogbomo, Sunny - University Of North Texas
item Ayre, Brian - University Of North Texas
item Stevens, Kevin - University Of North Texas
item Chapman, Kent - University Of North Texas
item Webber Iii, Charles
item D'souza, Nandika - University Of North Texas

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2010
Publication Date: 8/11/2010
Citation: Ogbomo, S.M., Ayre, B., Stevens, K., Chapman, K., Webber III, C.L., D'Souza, N.A. 2010. Naturally designed strong, tough and renewable biocomposites [abstract]. 2010 Symposium on Renewable Feedstock for Biofuel and Bio-based Products. August 11-13, 2010, Austin, Texas. p. 4-5.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The discovery that natural fiber filled materials have increased sound absorbency has led to their use in various automotive applications. However, the impact on structural implications of these natural fibers has not yet been investigated. Plant maturity may influence cell stiffness, which may in turn impact composite structural integrity. Research was conducted to determine fiber stiffness, elasticity, and viscosity as a function of plant age. Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus, L., Malvaceae) bast fibers were selected because they are cell bundles that undergo extensive cell-wall thickening during maturation. Bundle maturity is therefore an important determinant of fiber performance. Polylactic acid composites were used as the host material for the bast fibers. The resultant composites were examined using dynamic mechanical analysis, differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis. Results indicate that fiber architecture affords both an improvement in stiffness and energy absorption, and these qualities are translated into the composite materials.