Epoxy Composites Using Wood Pulp Components as Fillers
Douglas M. Fox, Noy Kaufman, Jeremiah W. Woodcock, Jeffrey W. Gilman, John R. Shields, Rick D. Davis, Szabolcs Matko, Mauro Zammarano, Chelsea S. Davis
The components of wood, especially lignin and cellulose, have great potential for improving the properties of polymer composites. In this chapter, we discuss some of the latest developments from our lab on incorporating wood based materials into epoxy composites. Lignosulfonate was used as a flame retardant and cellulose nanocrystals were used as reinforcing materials. Lignosulfonate will disperse well in epoxy, but phase separates during curing. An epoxidation reaction was developed to immobilize the lignosulfonate during curing. The lignosulfonate epoxy composites are characterized using microcombustion and cone calorimetry tests. Cellulose also has poor interfacial adhesion to hydrophobic polymer matrixes. Cellulose fibers and nanocrystals aggregate when placed in epoxy resin, resulting in very poor dispersion. The cellulose nanocrystal surface was modified with phenyl containing materials to disrupt cellulose interchain hydrogen bonding and improve dispersion in the epoxy resin. The cellulose nanocrystal epoxy composites were characterized using tensile tests and microscopic techniques.
Composites from Renewable and Sustainable Materials