1st-year Mechanical Engineering graduate student, Marieme Josephine Lette, won the Best Poster Award at the 9th International Conference on Green Composites (ICGC-9).

【Awardee】Marieme Josephine Lette (1st year, Mechanical Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering and Science)

【Faculty supervisor】Dr. Akito TAKASAKI (Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics)

【Research theme or presentation title, etc. for which you received the award】
Processing and Characterization of Ozone Treated Bamboo Fiber / Phenolic Resin Wood-Polymer Composite

【Comments about the achievement】
As for all natural fiber/polymer composites, weak interfaces between hydrophilic fibers and hydrophobic polymer matrix confer poor strength to the composite material. To overcome that big issue and enhance composite’s properties, various types of chemical and physical treatment has been investigated.

Therefore, the main purpose of this research work was to investigate effects of Ozone treatment on the flexural properties of bamboo fibers/phenolic resin wood-polymer composite.

Before sample processing and three-point bending test, bamboo fibers/phenolic resin formulations were exposed to ozone gas for 5, 10, 20, 30 and 60 minutes. Although the non-uniformity of fiber distribution inside the polymeric matrix made more difficult the evaluation of ozone treatment, the results showed significant enhancement in stiffness and strength of WPC samples and better adhesion at the fiber/matrix interfaces after ozone treatment. 20min of Ozone exposure exhibits the best results while higher exposure time causes loss in strength of PR/BF WPCs due to PR degradation through molecular weight loss caused by high oxidation state of the polymer.

As the main purpose of my research is to find out ways to manufacture green composites that are affordable, fashionable, recyclable, durable, resistant to degradation and fungal attacks, lightweight, have low friction during compounding and low CO2 emission, it will contribute positively to the society in the way that they will offer more sustainability than their petroleum-based counterparts for construction, automotive, electronics and marine industries.
In the future, I would like to develop my research towards widening the range of applications of green composites through development of highly functional biomass based composites.


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