biochar/wool hybrid biocomposites!

“Due to the realisation of the reinforcement potential of waste based biochar and wool in polymeric composites, in the recent past, their individual flammability, thermal and mechanical properties were determined. Composites were manufactured with biochar and with both biochar and wool in conjunction with the halogen free flame retardant, which was followed by their characterisation through cone calorimeter, limiting oxygen index (LOI), thermogravimetry, tension/flexural tests, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Biochar exhibited a high resistance to heat without being ignited and possessed very low heat release and smoke production rates. Wool, although, had relatively high peak heat release rate (PHRR), its advantageous charring ability enabled a gradual reduction in heat release until flameout. The hardness and modulus of biochar were 4.3 GPa and 26 GPa, respectively. The tensile strength and modulus of wool were 160 MPa and 4.8 GPa, respectively. Composites containing biochar and wool significantly reduced the PHRR, smoke production, and elevated the mass loss rate (compared to neat polypropylene/PP). Hybridisation with wool proved to be beneficial for enhancing the LOI. Certain mechanical properties, such as flexural strength and tensile/flexural moduli, were preserved and enhanced, respectively, due to biochar pore infiltration by PP as seen in SEM.”

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