Advanced Fiber Processing Technology for Agro-Plastic Composites
Fillers have been used in the plastics industry for almost 90 years. The total amound of all fillers in 1993 was 7.7 billion pounds and are primarily wood flour, talc and calcium carbonate. Pinnacle Technology and USDA's Forest Product Laboratory have entered a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to determine the procedures for a commercial operation of converting wheat straw and polypropylene into pellets. During the initial research, it was noted that changing the fiber processing methodology increased the tensile strength of the agro-plastic by 25%. The SBIR research will examine fiber processing methods to relate the effects of processing variables on performance characteristics of the agro-plastics. Different refining methods will be tested to reduce the wheat straw in size. The processes wheat fibers will be compounded with polypropylene and the composite properties; tensile, impact (notched and unnotched), flexural, will be determined according to ASTM specifications. These performance characteristics will be analyzed against processing cost. Successful demonstration of this technology will allow new markets to open where there is a significant price reduction by using reinforced agro-plastics ($0.50 per pound for agro-plastics versus $1.00+ per pound for reinforced plastics).
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:Ms. Donna A. Johnson
1400 Anthony Michael Drive Lawrence, KS 66049
Number of Employees: