Multifunctional Structural Green Nanocomposites from Biobased Thermoset Resin Systems: An Overview
Manju Misra, School of Engineering and the Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, Thornbrough Building, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
Green/bio-based composites and nanocomposites are emerging as the premier group of materials for manufacturing and engineering applications in the 21st century. New thermoset biocomposites and nanocomposites have been developed in our laboratories and show tremendous promise for industrial applications like automotives, housing, aeronautical, other transportation systems, and marine industries, recreation equipments, farm equipments. These biocomposites and nanocomposites are processed from either hybrid biobased epoxy, biobased unsaturated polyester (USP) or bio-based polyurethane (PUR) matrices, and incorporate various natural fibers and/or E-glass fibers, carbon fibers, organically modified clays, untreated vapor grown carbon fibers (VGCF), fluorinated single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT), or surface treated alumina nanowhiskers as reinforcements. The biocomposites and nanocomposites were prepared by different processing techniques, such as sheet molding compounding (SMC), compression molding and vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM). All of the processed biocomposites and nanocomposites showed higher static and dynamic mechanical properties as compared to the neat matrix containing the same amount of functionalized vegetable oils. This presentation mostly highlights innovative value added non-food industrial applications for underutilized vegetable/plant derived oils, lignin and biomass derived biofibers.