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Studies on Engineered Bio-composites from Polyamides and Bio-based Carbonaceous Fillers

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Title: Studies on Engineered Bio-composites from Polyamides and Bio-based Carbonaceous Fillers
Author: Ogunsona, Emmanuel Olusegun
Department: School of Engineering
Program: Engineering
Advisor: Mohanty, Amar Kumar
Abstract: Bio-composites were fabricated using biocarbon to reinforce engineering thermoplastics like polyamide 6 and 6, 10. Twin screw extrusion and injection molding were selected as the fabrication method since it is the most likely and commonly used for commercialization. Analysis of the bio-composites was done through tensile, flexural and impact tests for the mechanical properties. The heat deflection temperatures, glass transition temperatures and thermal stability were performed to demonstrate the thermal properties of the bio-composites. Rheological analysis was also performed to understand the effect of biocarbons on the polyamide. Well dispersed biocarbon particles with good adhesion with the polyamide were noticed after extrusion and injection molding processes. The most significant improvements of the mechanical test performed were the tensile and flexural strengths and moduli of the bio-composite when compared to the neat polyamide. Depending on the biocarbon used, the mechanical behaviors were observed to be different. Using functionalized biocarbons at a biocarbon loading of 20 wt. %, the tensile and flexural strengths were improved by 21 and 31.5 % respectively. However, the impact strength was reduced by 32 %. When un-functionalized biocarbon was used, the reverse was the case; the impact strength was insignificantly different from that of the neat polyamide while the improvements in tensile and flexural strengths were 0 and 21.9 % respectively. The effects of biocarbon on other properties of polyamide were also characterized and results showed that biocarbon acts as an anti-nucleating agent in polyamides and thereby reduces its crystallinity. Fabrication of polyamide bio-composites with up to 40 wt. % biocarbon is possible without any significant thermal degradation effects to the samples. Unlike natural fibers, biocarbons can reduce the water uptake of polyamides. A durability test shows that it has better overall mechanical property retention up to 50 % than talc reinforced polyamide composites.
Date: 2017-05

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