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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Bio-oils Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #347225

Research Project: Industrial Monomers and Polymers from Plant Oils

Location: Bio-oils Research

Title: High-performance biobased unsaturated polyester nanocomposites with very low loadings of graphene

item LUO, CHENGGUO - Chinese Academy Of Forestry
item WANG, CUINA - Nanjing Forestry University
item TANG, JIJUN - Jiangsu University
item ZHANG, JING - Jiangsu University
item SHANG, QIANQIAN - Chinese Academy Of Forestry
item HU, YUN - Chinese Academy Of Forestry
item WANG, HONGXIAO - Chinese Academy Of Forestry
item WU, QIONG - Nanjing Forestry University
item ZGOU, YONGHONG - Chinese Academy Of Forestry
item LEI, WEN - Nanjing Forestry University
item Liu, Zengshe - Kevin

Submitted to: Polymers
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/17/2018
Publication Date: 11/20/2018
Citation: Luo, C., Wang, C., Tang, J., Zhang, J., Shang, Q., Hu, Y., Wang, H., Wu, Q., Zgou, Y., Lei, W., Liu, Z. 2018. High-performance biobased unsaturated polyester nanocomposites with very low loadings of graphene. Polymers. 10(11):1288.

Interpretive Summary: In this reaearch, an efficient and eco-friendly method to prepare graphene-reinforced tung oil nanocomposites has been developed, which shows great potential to replace petroleum based materials. This addresses the goal of producing polymeric materials from plant oils, an emerging market due to the speculative nature of petroleum prices and supply, and public awareness of environmental issues. Here, we discovered that composites with only a small amount of graphene oxide in a tung oil matrix were three times stronger and 50% more thermally resistant than polymers made from tung oil resin alone. Further, this bio-based composite was also impact resistant and difficult to break. This fabricating method shows great potential in the preparation of high-performance biobased polymeric composites used in automobile components such as car and truck parts, civil infranstrucure like bridges and highway components, and rail infrastructure including carriages, box cars, and grain hoppers.

Technical Abstract: Graphene-reinforced tung oil (TO)-based unsaturated polyester nanocomposites were prepared via in situ melt polycondensation intergrated with Diels–Alder addition. Functionalized graphene sheets derived from graphene oxide (GO) were then extracted from the obtained nanocomposites and carefully characterized.Furthermore, dispersion state of the graphene nanosheets in the cured polymer composites and ultimate properties of the resultant biobased nanocomposites were investigated. Mechanical and thermal properties of the TO-based unsaturated polyester resin (UPR) were greatly improved by the incorporation of GO. For example, at the optimal GO content (only 0.10 wt %), the obtained biobased nanocomposite showed tensile strength and modulus of 43.2 MPa and 2.62 GPa, and Tg of 105.2 °C, which were 159%, 191%, and 49.4% higher than those of the unreinforced UPR/TO resin, respectively. Compared to neat UPR, the biobased UPR nanocomposite with 0.1 wt % of GO even demonstrated superior comprehensive properties (comparable stiffness and Tg, while better toughness and thermal stability). Therefore, the developed biobased UPR nanocomposites are very promising to be applied in structural plastics.