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Bioinspired Green Composite Lotus Fibers

Authors

  • Dr. Mengxi Wu,

    1. Key Laboratory of Bio-inspired Smart Interfacial Science and Technology of Ministry of Education, Beijing Key Laboratory of Bio-inspired Energy Materials and Devices, School of Chemistry and Environment, BeiHang University, Beijing 100191 (P.R. China)
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Hua Shuai,

    1. Key Laboratory of Bio-inspired Smart Interfacial Science and Technology of Ministry of Education, Beijing Key Laboratory of Bio-inspired Energy Materials and Devices, School of Chemistry and Environment, BeiHang University, Beijing 100191 (P.R. China)
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Prof. Qunfeng Cheng,

    Corresponding author
    1. Key Laboratory of Bio-inspired Smart Interfacial Science and Technology of Ministry of Education, Beijing Key Laboratory of Bio-inspired Energy Materials and Devices, School of Chemistry and Environment, BeiHang University, Beijing 100191 (P.R. China)
    • Key Laboratory of Bio-inspired Smart Interfacial Science and Technology of Ministry of Education, Beijing Key Laboratory of Bio-inspired Energy Materials and Devices, School of Chemistry and Environment, BeiHang University, Beijing 100191 (P.R. China)===

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  • Prof. Lei Jiang

    1. Key Laboratory of Bio-inspired Smart Interfacial Science and Technology of Ministry of Education, Beijing Key Laboratory of Bio-inspired Energy Materials and Devices, School of Chemistry and Environment, BeiHang University, Beijing 100191 (P.R. China)
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  • This work was supported by the National Research Fund for Fundamental Key Projects (2010CB934700), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21273017, 51103004), the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (NCET-12-0034), the Beijing Nova Program (Z121103002512020), the Beijing Science and Technology Program (Z121100001312004), the Key Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KJZD-EW-M01), and the 111 Project (No. B14009).

Abstract

Owing to the growing global environmental problems, demands for environmentally friendly, fully biodegradable sustainable composites have substantially increased across various industries. Inspired by the composite structure of cocoon silk, we fabricated a fully green composite fiber (GCF) that is based on the lotus fiber (LF) and a biodegradable polymer, namely poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA). After the formation of cross-linkages between the LF and PVA, the mechanical properties of this bioinspired GCF had substantially improved. In particular, the specific mechanical properties are superior to those of cocoon silk and other natural fibers. These findings suggest that LFs may be used as reinforcement materials for the fabrication of bulk green materials for various industries, such as the textile, medical, automobile, and aerospace industries.

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