Fiber Reinforced Composites with Recycled Polystyrene Additives and Natural Fibers
The disposal of the large amount of polystyrene foam waste has prompted an environmental problem. The possibility for utilizing this polystyrene product waste to act as a low profile additive was investigated. Low-profile thermoplastic additives are primarily employed to limit the volume shrinkage during curing of unsaturated polyester composites. A novel process has been developed to recycle polystyrene foam by dissolving it in non-volatile soybean oil esters in place of styrene. This substitution eliminates the environmentally unfriendly vapors emitted by styrene without significantly jeopardizing the composite properties. The resin systems were systematically compared in terms of pertinent chemical and mechanical properties. Polyester resin systems augmented with soy oil esters - polystyrene showed improved elongation than the unmodified polyester resins, because the co-polymer is more flexible than the conventional polyester resin. Natural fiber-reinforced composites based on the low profile resin systems were successfully manufactured. Finally, mechanical and chemical properties were tested for comparison with virgin polyester resin.
A. Garg et al., "Fiber Reinforced Composites with Recycled Polystyrene Additives and Natural Fibers," International SAMPE Symposium and Exhibition (Proceedings), Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) Publishing, Jan 2002.
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Article - Conference proceedings
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