Wednesday, 28 June 2006 - 9:30 AM
Federal Room B (Capital Hilton)

Bio-based polymers and composites manufacturing plant

Richard P. Wool, University of Delawar, Newark, DE

The first soyoil-based resin manufacturing facility which makes new green materials is described. Recent advances in genetic engineering, composite science and natural fiber development offer significant opportunities for new, improved green materials from renewable resources that are optionally recyclable and biodegradable, thereby enhancing global sustainability. A wide range of new high-performance, low-cost materials can be made using plant oils, natural fibers, lignin, nanoclays and chicken feathers. By selecting the fatty acid distribution function of plant oils via computer simulation and the molecular connectivity, we can control chemical functionalization and molecular architecture to produce linear, branched or cross-linked polymers. The resulting thermal and mechanical properties are described by percolation processes. These green materials can be used as pressure-sensitive adhesives, foams, coatings, elastomers, rubbers, composite resins, carbon nanotubes dispersants and nanoclay exfoliants. This work describes the chemical pathways and design rules that were used to modify plant oils and allow them to react with each other and various co-monomers to form materials with useful properties. When bio-based resins derived from natural oils are combined with natural fibers (plant and poultry), glass fibers, carbon nanotubes, nanoclays and lignin, new low-cost composites are produced that are economical in many high-volume applications. These high performance composites are used in hurricane resistant housing, agricultural equipment, automotive sheet molding compounds, civil and rail infrastructures, marine applications, electronic materials and sports equipment. In addition soft materials such as pressure sensitive adhesives (PSA), foams, coatings and elastomers are biocompatible and can be used for tissue scaffolds and wound healing.

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