Efficient Fabrication of Sustainable Building Products from Annually Generated Non-wood Cellulosic Fibres and Bioplastics with Improved Flammability Resistance
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Cellulosic fibres retrieved from annual agricultural by-products offer diverse advantages when applied as a main ingredient in biocomposite building materials. Within this paper work, the application possibility of non-wood straw fibres in innovative building products is highlighted. Fabrication efficiency is reached here through reducing the number of industrial processes and additives needed to manufacture the final biocomposite products. The natural mineral contents of the straw selected (rice straw) were investigated at 20% fibre load as active flame-retardant fillers in combination with two types of bio-based synthesized thermoplastics [poly-lactic acid (PLA) and Lignin]. Flammability behavior and morphological examinations of the resulted building materials were tested. Through post-fabrication techniques including vacuum thermoforming processes, a variety of cladding panels with different architectural designs were achieved. The applied fibres were not chemically treated. Instead, the fibres were mechanically densified, maintaining the inner natural minerals contents. The results have shown promising possibility of applying straw fibres as partial replacement of classic flame-retardants especially in combination with bioplastics. The straw based green biocomposites were proved to offer high ecological, economical and aesthetic input in the building industry.
KeywordsNatural fibre reinforced polymers Bioplastic Flammability Fabrication Design Cladding
The author thank the Institute for Agricultural Technology at the University of Hohenheim for helping in the fibre densification, the Institute for Food Chemistry at the University of Hohenheim for helping in the fibre analysis, the Institute for Polymer Technology at the University of Stuttgart for the SEM analysis and density measurements, the Institute for Inorganic Chemistry—University of Stuttgart for the support with the fire tests as well as the company Tecnaro for helping in the straw-lignin compounding process, the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart for the vacuum thermoforming machines’ support, the architecture students of the University of Stuttgart who participated in designing and fabricating the thermoformed panels in the ‘Bio-Materials Xperience Seminar’ in SS16, and ‘Eco-Room Practice Seminar’ in WS 15/16 supervised by the author and the Agency of Renewable Resources (FNR) under the German Ministry for Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture (BMEL) for funding the project PLUS with the funding number FKZ: 22008413 in which the extrusion processes were investigated.
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