Science » Technologies and discoveries
Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Researchers develop Green Materials for industry

The search for a solution for non-biodegradable plastic and for the waste generated by the wood industry brought together researchers from the Portuguese Universities of Coimbra (UC) and Aveiro (UA) and the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria (IPL) in the C-TEC project, promoted by Vangest business group.

Plastics combined with vegetable fibers

In this project, a team led by Filipe Antunes from the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC) developed a range of biodegradable composite materials from the combination of various plastics with vegetable fibers (pine sawdust and cellulose fibers extracted from wood) for application in various sectors of activity.

Composite materials are materials that result from the combination of two or more products with incompatible individual properties. This is the case of the products used in this research, developed under a project funded by the NSRF - National Strategic Reference Framework. For example, plastics have hydrophobic properties while wood has hydrophilic characteristics.

How to compatibilize two very different materials with opposite characteristics?

So, how to make these two materials compatible, given that they are so different? "That was a big problem that we had to overcome. The key is to modify the properties of both materials and obtain a product that is environmentally friendly and at a competitive market price", reveals Filipe Antunes.

Thus, "in order to reconcile these materials, we have used various strategies such as the introduction of mixed additives capable of bridging the two radically opposite natures, namely modified polymers that intertwine with the composite matrix and react with fibers," he describes.

"We also made modifications on the surface of the plant fibers, coating them with hydrophobic molecules, thus giving a greater affinity of the fibers to the matrix," adds Gabriela Martins, a UC team researcher.

After the properties of each of the materials had been modified, a number of studies and experiments were followed "until the right formulations were achieved for the desired purposes, ensuring all thermal and mechanical properties, i.e. the strength required for various industrial applications", clarifies the researcher of the Chemistry Department of FCTUC.

In the scope of the study, prototypes were produced for application in, for example, the automobile industry, packaging, gardening and shading systems in buildings.

 

Cristina Pinto

University of Coimbra

Translated from the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru by

Olga Santos

 

As the US threatens to decimate North Korea again - if not the entire planet, given Donald Trump's chillingly casual approach to the use of nuclear weapons - an article (1) has revealed the criminal legacy remaining from America's last attack, ending sixty four years ago, on a country smaller than Mississippi.

North Korea - As Trump Threatens, the Nation Still Struggles with America's Lethal Legacy

The two Russian clubs involved in the Europa League this season top their groups. Lokomotiv Moskva leads group F after a 1-1 draw away at Sheriff, and Zenit Saint Petersburg leads group L, winning easily at home 3-1 against Rosenborg.

Europa League Matchday 3: Russian clubs rule
Comments
Daughter of Putin's former employer to take part in Russian presidential election
Daughter of Putin's former employer to take part in Russian presidential election
USA to attack Russia to a high standard during 2018 presidential election
North Korea - As Trump Threatens, the Nation Still Struggles with America's Lethal Legacy
The West fears Russian weapons based on new physical principles
North Korea - As Trump Threatens, the Nation Still Struggles with America's Lethal Legacy
Turkey suddenly backpedals on its alliance with Russia
North Korea - As Trump Threatens, the Nation Still Struggles with America's Lethal Legacy
North Korea - As Trump Threatens, the Nation Still Struggles with America's Lethal Legacy
People of color: NFL doesn't give a damn about you
People of color: NFL doesn't give a damn about you
People of color: NFL doesn't give a damn about you
People of Color: the NFL doesn't give a damn about you
People of Color: the NFL doesn't give a damn about you
People of Color: the NFL doesn't give a damn about you
People of Color: the NFL doesn't give a damn about you
People of Color: the NFL doesn't give a damn about you
People of Color: the NFL doesn't give a damn about you
People of Color: the NFL doesn't give a damn about you
The West fears Russian weapons based on new physical principles
Canadian democracy through the eyes of two Eastern European political immigrants