Biocomposites with Epoxy Resin Matrix Modified with Ingredients of Natural Origin
2. Materials and Methods
- Microcrystalline cellulose from manufacturer Sigma-Aldrich (Saint Louis, MO, USA), in the form of powder.
- Short linen fibers made of Safilin roving (tex 2000).
- Oak wood flour and American walnut wood flour, waste from the carpentry workshop, not contaminated with other types of wood.
- Chemically treated oak wood flour.
- Field horsetail, dried and powdered leaves and stems, harvested from rural areas (own cultivation, Krakow, Poland).
- Powdered field horsetail subjected to pyrolytic treatment (own cultivation, Krakow, Poland).
3. Results and Discussion
3.1. Characteristics of Natural Additives Based on the Microstructure and EDS Research
3.2. Flexural Strength and Modulus of Elasticity in Bending
3.3. Characteristics of Composites Behavior under Compressive Force
3.4. Strength under Dynamic Loads
3.5. Results of Mechanical Tests for Samples with Modified Additives
3.6. Thermal Analysis-Thermal Stability and Mechanism of Thermal Degradation
3.7. Determination of the Density and Porosity of the Material
3.8. IR Spectra Analysis
- Among the natural additives selected to modify the polymer (duroplastic) matrix-microcrystalline cellulose, flax fibers, oak and American walnut wood flour and horsetail—the most favorable characteristics of the biocomposite in terms of bending and compressive strength—were obtained using unmodified oak wood flour. However, it lowered impact resistance of the composite.
- The greatest impact on thermal stability was noted for composites with horsetail, which may be the result of the presence of silica.
- Chemical modification of wood flour did not have a positive effect on the improvement of properties, although it was expected. The test results of the modified additive are not better than that of the unmodified additive. Similar conclusions were drawn from the pyrolytic modification. It allowed for a better crumbling of horsetail and its even distribution in the composite, but the results for the composite are comparable with the unmodified additive.
- Modification of the matrix with components with high cellulose content resulted in improved bending strength. The results of the research indicate that greater improvement was obtained with a lower proportion of plant additives. The introduction of plant additives to the matrix has a positive effect on the improvement of compressive strength. Even a small amount of additive (2.5% by weight of resin + hardener) significantly increased the maximum force that could be resisted by the compressed material (even up to 70% in relation to pure resin). The reinforcement is due to the fact that the particles in the matrix limit the movement of the polymer chains and, thus, the deformation of the matrix.
- The impact strength of composites reinforced with plant particles decreases with the increase in the proportion of the modifying phase. The conducted research shows that the decrease is smaller the more the modifier contains more cellulose, the smaller its fraction and the more even its distribution in the matrix. The exceptions are flax fibers, which contain the most cellulose among plant additives. This is due to the fact that they were introduced in the form of short fibers, in which the homogenization of the components resulted in the accumulation of a significant amount of air, and the production method used turned out to be insufficiently effective for its removal.
- The advantage of introducing natural additives is that it will reduce the formation of toxic substances that are released as a result of the decomposition of the epoxy resin.
- The tests also show that such a combination of components can positively affect the mechanical properties, improving the bending and compressive strength, but lowering the impact toughness.
- The dependence of the improvement/deterioration of properties is a component of several factors, ranging from the modifying additive fraction, its uniformity in the matrix and adhesion between the components, and ending with the type of wood/plant, its chemical composition and microstructure. The next step in the development of duroplastic biocomposites with lignocellulosic additives, especially with a view to assessing the influence of cellulose on properties, could be the introduction of cellulose nanoforms as modifiers. As numerous studies show, even a small addition of nanofibers or cellulose nanocrystals can significantly affect the characteristics of the material.
- The most significant impact on thermal stability was noted for composites with horsetail, which may be the result of the presence of silica.
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Addition/Weight Fraction||Cellulose||Flax||Oak||Oak *||Nut||Horsetail||Horsetail *|
|Relative Shortening [-]||Force F (kN) (Force Corresponding to a Specific Relative Shortening)|
|Change (%) to the resin at maximum force||-||53↑||36↑||77↑||73↑||63↑|
|Additive Content||Composite||Geometric Density (g/cm3)||Apparent Density (g/cm3)||Open Porosity|
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Szatkowski, P.; Szatkowska, M.; Gralewski, J.; Czechowski, L.; Kedziora, S. Biocomposites with Epoxy Resin Matrix Modified with Ingredients of Natural Origin. Materials 2022, 15, 7167. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15207167
Szatkowski P, Szatkowska M, Gralewski J, Czechowski L, Kedziora S. Biocomposites with Epoxy Resin Matrix Modified with Ingredients of Natural Origin. Materials. 2022; 15(20):7167. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15207167Chicago/Turabian Style
Szatkowski, Piotr, Martyna Szatkowska, Jacek Gralewski, Leszek Czechowski, and Slawomir Kedziora. 2022. "Biocomposites with Epoxy Resin Matrix Modified with Ingredients of Natural Origin" Materials 15, no. 20: 7167. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15207167