Submitted to: Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station Research Series
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/25/2010
Publication Date: 9/10/2010
Citation: Sreekala, B.G., Sreekala, D.S., Holt, G.A. 2010. Application of cotton burr/stem in thermoplastic composites. In: Oosterhuis, Derrick M. editor. Summaries of Arkansas Cotton Research 2009, Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station Research Series 582. p. 183-187. Interpretive Summary: This publication details the research conducted in conjunction with the University of Arkansas and Greenland Composites, Inc. in evaluating processed cotton burs and cotton stalks as a filler in thermoplastic composites. Currently, wood fiber is the primary filler material in thermoplastic composites and this research evaluated the use of alternative fiber sources that would not comprimise the integrity of the product and that could be used in commercial production facilities. Results showed that a 25% addition of cotton burs and stalks could be added to a wood fiber mix without any degredation of the physical and mechanical properties of the final product.
Technical Abstract: Cotton gin waste (CGW) is a waste stream from a ginning operation that is rich in ligno-cellulosic fibers. Currently, there are no major commercial-scale applications for this material except for a small fraction that goes into either composting or is land applied. For a majority of gins across the country, CGW is a potential environmental liability and an expense to dispose of. Value-added products that can be made from CGW will generate a revenue stream for the ginners and producers while reducing the environmental burden. This study focuses on the application of plant fibers recovered from CGW in natural fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites. The thermoplastic composite material is investigated as an alternative to wood and wood polymer composites (WPC) for outdoor non-structural building applications such as deck boards, fences, landscaping products, and window and door components.