Light-weight polypropylene composites reinforced with whole chicken feathers

Authors

  • Narendra Reddy,

    1. Department of Textiles, Clothing and Design, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska 68583-0802
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  • Yiqi Yang

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Textiles, Clothing and Design, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska 68583-0802
    2. Department of Biological Systems Engineering, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska 68583-0802
    3. Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska 68583-0802
    • Department of Textiles, Clothing and Design, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska 68583-0802
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Abstract

Light-weight composites reinforced with whole chicken feathers have better flexural strength than composites reinforced with feather fibers (barbs) and nearly thrice higher tensile strength and seven times higher tensile modulus than composites reinforced with powdered chicken feather quill. Chicken feathers are not only inexpensive and abundantly available but also have unique properties such as low density and hollow centers that make them preferable as reinforcement materials, especially for light-weight composites. However, the traditional methods of developing composites do not provide the flexibility of using feathers in their native form as reinforcement. So far, the components in feathers such as barbs or quills have been used separately and/or feathers have been mechanically processed to destroy their native form in order to use feathers as reinforcement in composites. A new method of making composites using nonwoven webs as matrix allows the incorporation of reinforcing materials in their native form such as whole chicken feathers to develop composites. This research shows that whole chicken feathers can be used as reinforcement in composites with better flexural, tensile, and acoustic properties than composites made from processed chicken feathers. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010

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