We are interested in fabricating green materials that could potentially be used in building construction applications. Ideally, the inputs to these materials would not lead to further deforestation, and rely minimally on nonrenewable fossil fuels. To make a sustainable product, we aim to incorporate “wastes” from current industrial and agricultural processes. The green building material will be a “sandwich” composite where foam will serve as the compressible, lightweight core, and a hemp/bioresin board will be the rigid, dense outer sheath. The foam we have made is based on polyurethane chemistry where we have used modified castor oil as the polyol. We have utilized waste glycerol that is a byproduct of transesterification chemical reactions (such as biodiesel synthesis) into the foam. We also incorporated waste agricultural residues, i.e., rice hulls into the foam as a filler. FT-IR spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy revealed that the incorporation of these two “waste” components did not disrupt the polyurethane chemistry. Furthermore, we measured the compression strength (using ASTM D3575-08) of these foams as a function of the percent of waste added and found there can be an increase in strength. We also have successfully used a vacuum infusion method to make rigid boards from woven hemp fabrics and “SuperSap™” bioresin. Hemp was used because it is plant-based and it has one of the highest mechanical strengths among plant fibers. Sandwich composites were assembled using the hemp boards and the bio polyurethane foam previously fabricated. Three-point bending measures were performed to determine the bending strength. We found that the sandwich composite had sufficient strength in comparison to current market non-load bearing material. We envision that these boards can perhaps be utilized as substitutes for non-load bearing panels in the construction of green buildings.
|Commitee:||Ko, Yu-Fu, Lo, Roger C.|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 53/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Bio-foam, Composite, Laminate, Rice Hull Ash|
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