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Meeting 2018 TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition
Symposium Biological Materials Science
Presentation Title Modeling Water Absorption and Associated Mechanical Property Changes of Natural Fiber Reinforced Biocomposites
Author(s) Nicole Lee Robertson, John Wolodko, John A. Nychka
On-Site Speaker (Planned) John A. Nychka
Abstract Scope Natural fibers have seen increasing use in thermoplastic matrices for the manufacture of biocomposites for applications such as automotive parts, geotextiles, and agricultural products. When immersed in water, such biocomposites absorb water, and result in dimensional instability and changes in mechanical properties, such as: tensile strength, ductility, toughness, and Young’s modulus of elasticity. This work describes long-term (>6000 hours) water immersion experiments of injection molded hemp and wood pulp fiber reinforced polyethylene (HDPE; LDPE) biocomposites with varying volume fraction. Mechanisms and quantification of water absorption (mass gain) will be highlighted along with concomitant changes in mechanical properties. A new predictive model of water absorption-based mechanical property changes will be explained, which also accounts for fiber degradation. The model allows for prediction of mechanical properties as a function of time of immersion, or mass gain, and permits a better understanding of the reliability of natural fiber-based biocomposites from a design perspective.
Proceedings Inclusion? Planned: Supplemental Proceedings volume

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Bioinspired Polyphenolic Materials: From Biomolecular Phenomena to Applications
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