Subcategory: Materials Science
Manik Chandra Biswas - Tuskegee University
Co-Author(s): Vijaya K. Rangari and Shaik Jeelani, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL
Purpose: Biodegradable polymers lead the packaging industry including food packaging, foam packaging, compostable bags for domestic applications etc. though these polymers have some inferior properties such as poor thermal stability, excessive brittleness, and poor melt strength and processability issues which restrict their wide range of applications. Nano phased silica a high temperature material can be used as a filler to improve the thermo-mechanical properties of biodegradable materials, which is also a natural sourced such as rice husk. Agricultural waste rice husk is a good source of silica, mostly used as energy source which creates CO2 emission to the environment or dumped as a waste. Therefore, the prime aim of this work is to improve the structural properties of biodegradable polymer (Ecoflex) through nanocomposites approach by making micron thick Ecoflex/SCNP thin films using 3D printing process for future targeted sensing application.
Methods: In this study, 3D printed flexible Ecoflex thin films integrated with biogenic silica-carbon nanoparticles (SCNPs), were investigated to determine the influence of the silica/carbon material on the thermal and mechanical properties of biopolymer. The high pressure reaction was used to synthesize silica/carbon nanoparticles and they were further characterized by X-ray Diffraction, Raman Spectroscopy, FTIR and TEM analysis. The composites were also characterized by DSC, TGA, X-ray Diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, TEM, SEM and Tensile analysis.
Results: X-ray diffraction and Raman analysis revealed the formation of crystalline cristobalite nano silica with amorphous carbon hybrid material. BET surface area measurement showed the highest surface area (706.23 m2/g) of the nanoparticles. The TEM analysis of the composites identified the nanoparticles in the biopolymer while SEM proved the microstructure of the composites. TGA and Tensile test revealed significant enhancement in thermal stability, maximum strain and strain to failure properties due to the integration of 0.5 and 1.0 wt. % nano silica/carbon particles (SCNPs). Future Work: Antimicrobial test of the nano bio composite thin films; Biodegradability test of the composite thin films.
Conclusion: Agricultural waste rice husk is being used to synthesize valuable engineering materials silica/carbon nanoparticles and used as a filler material to enhance the thermo-mechanical properties of biopolymer. The nanocomposites approach show a significant increase in thermal properties of polymer which minimizes the drawbacks of biodegradable polymers and thereby broaden their application areas.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): The authors acknowledge the financial support of NSF-CREST#1137681, and NSF-RISE # 1459007 grants.
Faculty Advisor: Vijaya K. Rangari, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: 1. Synthesis and Characterization of nano particles; 2. Fabrication of nanocomposite thin films using 3D printer; 3. Characterization of the films using DSC, TGA, X-ray Diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, TEM, SEM and Tensile analysis.