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Title: Advancing Renewable Materials by Light and X-ray Scattering

With the ultimate goal to design PHA polymer nanocomposites with tailored properties, we have completed systematic study of the influence of cooling rate [Xie et al, J. Appl. Poly. Sci., 2008] and nanofiller [Xie et al, Polymer 2009] characteristics on model bionanocomposites. Structure-property relationships for a model bionanocomposites system were investigated. These results yielded new fundamental knowledge that supports the discovery of cost-effective manufacturing technologies for a family of promising polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) polyesters, with the potential to replace polyethylene and polypropylene (see Noda letter). Our results show that simple two-phase composite models do not account for the data. Although improvement of the mechanical properties (stiffness/modulus and toughness) must be due to alteration of the matrix by the nanoparticle filler, the observed improvement was not caused by the change of crystallinity or spherulitic morphology. Instead, improvement depends on the molecular weight of the polymer matrix and unknown filler-matrix interactions.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 42 ENGINEERING Bioplastics, Renewable polymer, nanocomposite, USAXS