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(338g) Experimental Study On Bast Fiber Reinforced Soy-Based Polyurethane

Huo, S., North Dakota State University
Ulven, C. A., North Dakota State University

Growing importance has been placed on the research of natural fibers and resins derived from natural resources as the need for reducing dependency on petroleum-derived products has increased. Natural fibers and biobased resins are potentially inexpensive, renewable resources capable of increasing the specific strength, specific stiffness, and damage tolerance of a variety of composites.

Polyurethane is one of the most versatile and intensively used industrial materials. Bio-based polyols developed from vegetable oils such as soybean oil, canola oil, palm oil and castor oil, are now being used in industry. Soy-based polyurethanes normally exhibit equivalent or improved physical and chemical properties due to the hydrophobic nature of triglycerides. Cellulosic fibers as an alternative for fiberglass have been studied by many researchers. Chemical modifications can be applied to reduce the amount of hydroxyl groups in cellulosic fiber to increase the hydrophobicity and improve the interfacial properties between fibers and matrices. Distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) is a by-product of corn-ethanol. Their potential use as reinforcing filler in biocomposites has been studied in thermoplastic composites, but not to a great extent in thermoset composites.

In this study, bast fiber reinforced soy-based polyurethane composites with DDGS filler are produced. The mechanical properties of soy-based PU matrix, soy-based PU matrix with DDGS, and cellulosic fiber reinforced soy-based PU composites with DDGS are investigated. The thermal properties of the matrix system and their composites are evaluated.