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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Functional Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #349878

Research Project: Evaluation of the Chemical and Physical Properties of Low-Value Agricultural Crops and Products to Enhance Their Use and Value

Location: Functional Foods Research

Title: Fabrication of natural fiber composites consisting of Osage orange seed flour reinforced with non-woven hemp mats

item Tisserat, Brent

Submitted to: Journal of Polymers and the Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/2/2018
Publication Date: 7/9/2018
Citation: Tisserat, B. 2018. Fabrication of natural fiber composites consisting of Osage orange seed flour reinforced with non-woven hemp mats. Journal of Polymers and the Environment.

Interpretive Summary: As of 2010 the NFCs industry is valued at $2.1 billion and is expected to grow about 10% annually. Natural fiber composites (NFCs) are extensively employed in the automotive industry in non-structural applications. Most matrices employed in NFCs are synthetic resins derived from petroleum sources and create environmental problems when disposed. To address this problem bio-based adhesives such as soy and cottonseed meal flours can be employed as adhesives/resins. In this study, Osage orange seed meal was evaluated for its adhesive properties as resin matrix in NFCs. It was found that OOSM was as effective as soy flours. Commercial use of OOSM as biobased adhesives would benefit both NFC manufacturing industries by fabricating a product that is completely bio-degradable which is inexpensive, effective, and light weight.

Technical Abstract: Natural fiber composites (NFC) were fabricated using a matrix consisting of an aqueous slurry of Osage orange (Maclura pomifera (Raf.) Schneid. family Moraceae) seed meal (OOSM) (50, 75 or 100 g x L^-1^) reinforced with hemp non-woven mats (450, 650, 800, 1000, 1200, or 1350 g x m^-2^ surface densities). OOSM behaves as a thermoset adhesive/resin similar to soy flours. Non-woven mats of 7.6 cm W X 17.8 cm L of various surface densities were soaked in aqueous slurries for 30 min under vacuum and then directly hot pressed at 185 oC and 4.3 MPa for 4:30 min. NFCs matrix: reinforcement percentages varied depending on the surface density of the hemp mat employed. NFCs were evaluated for their tensile, flexural, physical, surface roughness properties and dimensional stability. The OOSM slurry matrix was found to be as effective as matrices generated from soy flour or soy protein isolate slurries. The influence of various temperatures for processing was also evaluated.