Sydnei Head - Tuskegee University
Co-Author(s): Chibu Umerah, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama ; Boniface J. Tiimob, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama; Vijaya K. Rangari, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama ; Shaik Jeelani, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama
There is a high demand of plastics for consumers worldwide. However, these plastics are detrimental to the environment as they are made from petroleum and other non-renewable resources. Such materials take centuries to degrade which suggests that biodegradable plastics should serve as alternatives. In this work, a biodegradable material consisting of 75/25 PBAT/PLA (Poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate)/ Poly (lactic acid)) blend with carbon nano-powder obtained from coconut shell powder will be investigated. The carbon material that was synthesized utilizing a high temperature reactor was characterized with SEM and Raman spectroscopy to study the particles sizes of the powder. The neat polymers and carbon polymer composites were synthesized from solvent blending method, which were then precipitated and extruded into filaments for 3D printing. The carbon polymer composites tested were 0.2%, 0.4%, 0.6%. The samples were characterized using tensile tests, TGA, XRD, and Raman spectroscopy after they were 3D printed into thin films. Due to the extrusion and size reduction processes, it is believed that composites will have an increase in the mechanical properties by decreasing voids that occur in 3D printing and by changing the structure of the polymer blends. These composites will serve in applications such as food packaging.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF Grant DMR REU-1659506
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Vijaya Rangari, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I completed most of everything in this research from making the .2, .4, and .6 percent carbon in each of the 75/25 PBAT/PLA blend samples to extruding them but I have not had the chance to tensile test, TGA, nor XRD but I have done the Raman spectroscopy on the coconut shell carbon.