EPA Science Inventory

ALL NATURAL COMPOSITE SANDWICH BEAMS FOR STRUCTURAL APPLICATIONS. (R829576)

Citation:

Dweib, M. A., B. Hu, AND A. O'Donnell. ALL NATURAL COMPOSITE SANDWICH BEAMS FOR STRUCTURAL APPLICATIONS. (R829576). (2004).

Description:

As part of developing an all natural composite roof for housing application,
structural panels and unit beams were manufactured out of soybean oil based resin
and natural fibers (flax, cellulose, pulp, recycled paper, chicken feathers)
using vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) technology. Physical and
chemical investigations and mechanical testing of the beams yielded good results
in line with desired structural performance. Room temperature curing of an acrylated
epoxidized soybean oil (AESO) resin gave a flexural modulus of 1 GPa. Natural
fiber reinforcement of 20–55 wt.% fiber increased the flexural modulus
to 2–6 GPa. The same resin reinforced with woven E-glass gave a flexural
modulus of 17 GPa. Using this type of composite in building construction introduces
many advantages such as high strength and stiffness to weight, survivability
in severe weather conditions, desired ductility, fatigue resistance, and design
flexibility (three-dimensional forms, molded in place, easy to install and structure
replacement). A bio-based (natural and biodegradable) matrix reinforced by natural
fibers also provides an important environmental advantage, as renewable resources
are used instead of petroleum-based materials. Five different structural beams
were successfully manufactured and mechanically tested giving good results. Combinations
of two different fibers were also introduced to give processing and strength
advantages.


Author Keywords: Green composites; Plant fiber; Bio-based resin; Soybean;
Vacuum molding

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 01/01/2004
Completion Date: 01/01/2004
Record Last Revised: 12/22/2005
Record Created: 10/03/2005
Record Released: 10/03/2005
Record ID: 140578

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH