Green Composites: Polymer Composites and the Environment Edited by Caroline Baillie


Green Composites: Polymer Composites and the Environment
Edited by Caroline Baillie

Green Composites

Contributor contact details viii
1 Why green composites? 1
C. BAILLIE, Queen’s University, Canada
1.1 Introduction 1
1.2 An environmental footprint and life cycle assessment 1
1.3 Drivers for change 3
1.4 The structure of this book: a life cycle approach 5
2 Designing for composites: traditional and future views 9
C. ROSE, University of Brighton, UK
2.1 Introduction: design thinking 9
2.2 The three principles of development and the value system 11
2.3 The big challenge: the future of material consumption, utilisation and innovation 14
2.4 The use of composite materials through the ages: design,
form and structure 20
Sources of further information 22
References 22
3 Life cycle assessment 23
R. MURPHY, Imperial College London, UK
3.1 Introduction 23
3.2 Life cycle assessment: methodology 24
3.3 LCAs of composite materials 35
3.4 Future trends: making use of LCA 43
3.5 Conclusions 46
Sources of further information 46
Acknowledgements 46
References 47
4 Natural fibre sources 49
T. NISHINO, Kobe University, Japan
4.1 Introduction 49
4.2 The microstructure of natural plant fibres 49
4.3 The crystal structure of celluloses 54
4.4 The crystal modulus of natural fibres 56
4.5 The mechanical properties of cellulose microfibrils and macrofibrils 65
4.6 Natural fibre/sustainable polymer composites 68
4.7 Future trends 74
References 76
5 Alternative fibre sources: paper and wood fibres as reinforcement 81
P. PELTOLA, Tampere University of Technology, Finland
5.1 Introduction and definitions 81
5.2 Wood fibres: structure, properties, making pulp and paper fibres 83
5.3 Recycling of paper 87
5.4 Wood and plastic composites and the theory of fibre reinforcement 90
5.5 Composites made of wood or wood fibre and plastics 92
Acknowledgements 98
References 98
6 Alternative solutions: recyclable synthetic fibre–thermoplastic composites 100
R. A. SHANKS, RMIT University, Australia
6.1 Introduction and definitions 100
6.2 Green composites and the structure and function of composites 101
6.3 Natural material sources: reconstitution of thermoplastic polymers and the effect of water 104
6.4 Synthetic recyclable composites 105
6.5 Processing innovations and mineral-filled composites 108
6.6 Properties of single polymer fibre–matrix composites 114
6.7 Future trends 119
Sources of further information and advice 120
Acknowledgements 120
References 121
7 Natural polymer sources 123
D. PLACKETT, Risø National Laboratory, Denmark and A. VÁZQUEZ,
Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina
7.1 Introduction: biocomposites and biodegradable polymers 123
7.2 Polylactides: polylactic acid (PLA) synthesis, properties,
biodegradation, processing and applications 124
7.3 Polyhydroxyalkanoates: polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)
synthesis, properties, biodegradation, processing and applications 128
7.4 Starch-based polymers: properties, biodegradation, processing and applications 132
7.5 Bio-based composites: mechanical properties, processing,
characterisation, modification, water absorption, biodegradation and reinforcement 135
7.6 Future trends 147
Sources of further information 148
References 149
8 Optimising the properties of green composites 154
S. H. AZIZ and M. P. ANSELL, University of Bath, UK
8.1 Introduction 154
8.2 Thermosetting matrices versus thermoplastic matrices: a comparison 155
8.3 Selecting natural fibres for composites: stress transfer and physical characteristics 161
8.4 Case study: natural fibre composites with thermosetting resin matrices 164
8.5 Mechanical properties of composites as a function of design 165
8.6 Dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) of long fibre composites 173
8.7 Environmental stability of natural fibre composites 176
8.8 Discussion and conclusions 177
Sources of further information and advice 178
Acknowledgements 178
References 178
9 Green fibre thermoplastic composites 181
M. SAIN and S. PANTHAPULAKKAL, University of Toronto, Canada
9.1 Introduction: biofibre production 181
9.2 Green fibres for composite production 183
9.3 Thermoplastics for natural fibre composites 187
9.4 High performance fibres: thermal, chemical and mechanical treatments 189
9.5 Processing of natural fibre-filled composites 192
9.6 The performance and durability of natural fibres 197
9.7 Environmental benefits of using natural fibre-reinforced thermoplastics 201
9.8 Future trends 202
References 203
10 Clean production 207
N. TUCKER, University of Warwick, UK
10.1 Introduction: clean processing 207
10.2 Energy saving in the manufacture and production of composites 210
10.3 Limiting the environmental impact of processing 215
10.4 The use of additives 222
10.5 End-of-life disposal strategies 226
10.6 Future trends 230
References 231
11 Applications 233
M. HUGHES, University of Wales, UK
11.1 Introduction and definitions 233
11.2 Historical applications of green composites 235
11.3 Contemporary applications of green composites 237
11.4 Future trends 244
11.5 Conclusions 247
Sources of further information and advice 248
References 249
12 Re-use, recycling and degradation of composites 252
A. HODZIC, James Cook University, Australia
12.1 Introduction 252
12.2 Recycling of polymers and composites 254
12.3 Recycling of thermoplastic composites 255
12.4 Recycling of thermosetting composites 257
12.5 Degradation of polymers: UV light and biodegradation 260
12.6 Recycling of composites in the automotive industry 263
12.7 Utilising green composites and incinerating polymers 264
12.8 Conclusions and future trends 267
References 268
13 Reprocessing 272
J. C. ARNOLD, Swansea University, UK
13.1 Introduction 272
13.2 Management of waste plastics and composites 273
13.3 Methods of sorting and separating plastics and polymers 277
13.4 Methods of recycling plastics 283
13.5 Future trends 294
Sources of further information 295
References 296
Index 301

Often when pursuing research into green composites we say that we are protecting the environment, that we are working for nature. We may as well stop kidding ourselves – nature will be fine; nature will work out OK and adapt to the changes. It’s humans that will cease to exist if we continue the way we are at present. Some scientists and engineers have realised that they need to take responsibility for the outcome of their work. Researching ways of creating faster machines and bigger toys, without due consideration of the effects on the environment or on people, is irresponsible. This book represents some of the workers who have, over the last 10 years or so, decided to change the direction of their research to address some of these issues. We have recently been seeing an increase in the number of researchers working in this area and it is time to reflect on the progress and purpose of our work to make sure that we are in fact doing what we say we would like to do.

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