Biocomposites Based on Soy

Tuesday, October 11, 2016: 3:45 PM
Rm 303 (David L. Lawrence Convention Center )
Coleen Pugh, PhD1, Paula Watt2, Brinda Mehta2 and Abdala Bashir1, (1)Polymer Science, The University of Akron, Akron, OH, (2)Department of Polymer Science, The University of Akron, Akron, OH
Because of growing environmental concerns and depleting petroleum resources, the quest for renewable plant-based composites has increased recently. Plants are increasingly becoming a major source for chemical feedstock. The goal of this project is to fully utilize plants in the production of affordable biocomposites with properties comparable to those of conventional polymer matrix composites, such as high glass transition temperature (> 120 °C) and Young’s modulus > 2000 MPa, for composites with more than 80% bio-content. The major components of a composite are the matrix, filler, and reinforcement. Soy is a plentiful local resource for the large polymer industry in Ohio. This talk will therefore present our work on replacing at least the matrix and filler with soy-based materials. First, we have developed functionalized plant oils using simple “ene” chemistry and alkyne chemistries to facilitate commercialization of these green resins.1 Second, we have investigated soy based fillers to replace the more commonly used mineral fillers, such as CaCO3, which enjoys a >100 million ton market. Fillers are incorporated into polymer matrices for both property enhancement and to reduce cost because they are significantly less expensive than the polymers they displace.