The Development and Study of Organic Composites

Authors: Timothy Cotter; Allyson Kearns; Allison Sichler; Aiden Wright

Advisors: Selcuk Guceri; Stephen Kmiotek

Category: Undergraduate

To alleviate modern society’s reliance on plastic, our team explored compostable alternatives to petroleum-based polymers. This study examines the processability and properties of organic fiber-reinforced composites, constructed using a combination of PLA or a potato starch-based matrix, and natural fibers such as flax, cotton, or jute. To characterize the resulting material, our team studied the matrix-fiber adhesion, chemical composition, mechanical strength, and biodegradability of the samples. This investigation allowed our team to infer potential applications for our product, as well as issue guidance for future exploration.

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