Novel Composites from Sustainable Sources
Composites currently in use are mostly based in petrochemical products and are seldom really recyclable or fully degradable.
Polysaccharide based polymers have several advantages. The material properties are adjustable to a wide range of applications by choice of base polymer and amount/kind of side chains.
Starch-fatty-acid-esters (SFAE) for example can be synthesized to have melting points as low as 50°C up to the starches decomposition temperature and an elastic modulus between 40 and 300 MPa.
Due to SFAE with saturated fatty-acids not crosslinking during melting or UV irradiation, as indicated by IR spectroscopy, compounds with SFAE are able to be reformed and recycled. SFAE are compatible with a variety of different natural materials making them a very good basis for the production of bio compounds.
Compounding with materials such as wood, straw, hay and hemp as well as cellulose pulp has shown promising results in the production of WPC and HDF like materials.
Additionally the strength and anti-fouling capabilities of basalt fibers are an ideal addition towards the production of strong and ecologically sustainable compound materials.