Development and application of triglyceride-based polymers and composites

Shrikant N. Khot, John J. Lascala, Erde Can, Shantaram S. Morye, George I. Williams, Giuseppe R. Palmese, Selim H. Kusefoglu, Richard P. Wool

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603 Scopus citations


Triglyceride oils derived from plants have been used to synthesize several different monomers for use in structural applications. These monomers have been found to form polymers with a wide range of physical properties. They exhibit tensile moduli in the 1-2 GPa range and glass transition temperatures in the range 70-120°C, depending on the particular monomer and the resin composition. Composite materials were manufactured utilizing these resins and produced a variety of durable and strong materials. At low glass fiber content (35 wt %), composites produced from acrylated epoxidized soybean oil by resin transfer molding displayed a tensile modulus of 5.2 GPa, a flexural modulus of 9 GPa, a tensile strength of 129 MPa, and flexural strength of 206 MPa. At higher fiber contents (50 wt %) composites produced from acrylated epoxidized soybean oil displayed tensile and compression moduli of 24.8 GPa each, and tensile and compressive strengths of 463.2 and 302.6 MPa, respectively. In addition to glass fibers, natural fibers such as flax and hemp were used. Hemp composites of 20% fiber content displayed a tensile strength of 35 MPa and a tensile modulus of 4.4 GPa. The flexural modulus was ∼2.6 GPa and the flexural strength was in the range 35.7-51.3 MPa, depending on the test conditions. The flax composite materials had tensile and flexural strengths in the ranges 20-30 and 45-65 MPa, respectively. The properties exhibited by both the natural- and synthetic fiber-reinforced composites can be combined through the production of "hybrid" composites. These materials combine the low cost of natural fibers with the high performance of synthetic fibers. Their properties lie between those displayed by the all-glass and all-natural composites. Characterization of the polymer properties also presents opportunities for improvement through genetic engineering technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-723
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 17 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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