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Avian keratin fibre-based bio-composites

Firoozeh Pourjavaheri (School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)
Farzad Mohades (School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)
Oliver Jones (School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)
Frank Sherkat (School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)
Ing Kong (Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Jalan Broga, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia and School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)
Arun Gupta (Faculty of Chemical and Natural Resources Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Kuantan, Malaysia)
Robert A. Shanks (School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)

World Journal of Engineering

ISSN: 1708-5284

Article publication date: 12 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to use the solvent–casting–evaporation method to prepare new bio-composites with thermoplastic poly(ether urethane) (TPU-polyether) as the polymer matrix and reinforced with natural chicken feather fibre (CFF).

Design/methodology/approach

To produce the bio-composites, 0 to 60 per cent·w/w of fibres in steps of 30 per cent·w/w were added to the polymer matrix. The uniformity of distribution of the keratin fibres in the polymer matrix was investigated via scanning electron microscopy, and the results suggested compatibility of the TPU-polyether matrix with the CFFs, thereby implying effective fibre–polymer interactions.

Findings

Addition of natural fibres to the polymer was found to decrease the mass loss of the composites at higher temperatures and decrease the glass transition temperature, as well as the storage and loss modulus, at lower temperatures, while increasing the remaining char ratio, storage modulus and loss modulus at higher temperatures.

Originality/value

The investigation confirmed that waste keratin CFF can improve the thermo-mechanical properties of composites, simply and cheaply, with potentially large environmental and economic benefits.

Keywords

Citation

Pourjavaheri, F., Mohades, F., Jones, O., Sherkat, F., Kong, I., Gupta, A. and Shanks, R.A. (2017), "Avian keratin fibre-based bio-composites", World Journal of Engineering, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 183-187. https://doi.org/10.1108/WJE-08-2016-0061

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited