Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592
Email

 


View all Research Highlights

Enhancing High-Performance Plastics with Nanocellulose

Nanocellulose (upper left), an engineering plastic (upper right), and compound made from them (center). Test specimens made from the compound (bottom). Craig Clemons, USDA Forest Service
Nanocellulose (upper left), an engineering plastic (upper right), and compound made from them (center). Test specimens made from the compound (bottom). Craig Clemons, USDA Forest Service
Snapshot: Forest Service scientists are using nanocellulose to improve the performance of engineering plastics. By applying advanced processing methods, the scientists are able to temporarily reduce the melting point of the engineering plastic so that nanocellulose can be blended with it without degrading the nanocellulose.
Summary:

Nanocellulose represents a new type of forest product that could offer a potential high-value outlet for a variety of underutilized wood-based resources and allow wood to enter entirely new applications and markets because of its unique characteristics. For example, nanocellulose can be used to reinforce plastics, enhancing their performance and providing a favorable balance of properties for a wide variety of applications. Forest Products Laboratory scientists are collaborating with University of Wisconsin researchers to combine nanocellulose with high-performance engineering plastics, which usually have too high of a melting temperature to be used with nanocellulose (i.e. the heat causes the nanocellulose to degrade before the plastics melts). The researchers are investigating new, advanced processing methods using benign materials such as water and nitrogen at high temperatures to temporarily reduce the melting point of the engineering plastic so that nanocellulose can be blended with it without degrading the nanocellulose. The researchers are targeting composites with a fine foam structure for lightweight automotive applications, for example.
Princpal Investigator(s):
 Clemons, Craig M.


Research Location:
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Forest Products Laboratory


External Partners:
  • University of Wisconsin

Fiscal Year: 2014
Highlight ID: 580
 
Related Research Emphasis Areas: