An environment friendly, green composite design was demonstrated by producing an almost completely biorenewable and affordable material. Mildly pyrolyzed chicken feather fibers (PCFF) were incorporated in acrylated epoxidized soybean oil (AESO) and methacrylated lauric acid (MLAU)-based thermosetting resin to provide reinforcement in low density and rubbery polymer applications. The mechanical properties of the polymer composite, such as storage modulus, tensile modulus, tensile strength, and fracture energy were directly proportional to the fiber content. Varying the fiber content up to 32 wt % allowed for a wide tuning of mechanical properties (i.e., 20-300 MPa storage modulus and 10-150 MPa range at room temperature). Upon subjecting the CFFs to a strategic pyrolysis thermal history, the formation of isopeptide and ester bonds with limited protein backbone scission resulted in mechanical fiber integrity. Thermally stabilized PCFF have the potential for utilization in composite manufacturing, where typical manufacturing temperatures, especially in thermoplastic extrusion, exceed the untreated biobased fiber degradation temperature (215°C).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry