Home / Journals / JRM / Vol.3, No.3, 2015
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  • Open Access

    EDITORIAL

    Special Issue on “Biobased Construction Materials” in the Journal of Renewable Materials


    Journal of Renewable Materials, Vol.3, No.3, pp. 161-162, 2015, DOI:10.7569/JRM.2015.634113
    Abstract This article has no abstract. More >

  • Open Access

    ARTICLE

    Reducing the Environmental Impact of Construction by Using Renewable Materials

    Mike Lawrence
    Journal of Renewable Materials, Vol.3, No.3, pp. 163-174, 2015, DOI:10.7569/JRM.2015.634105
    Abstract The relative importance of embodied energy and operational energy on the environmental impact of construction are examined in this article. It highlights the fact that the targets set by the Kyoto Protocol are primarily being met by the reduction of in-use energy, and that the implications of that are that the energy embodied in buildings will increase in signifi cance from its current 17% level to 50% by 2050. The article describes how the use of bio-based renewable materials can make a signifi cant contribution to reducing not only the embodied energy of buildings by using the sequestration of CO2… More >

  • Open Access

    ARTICLE

    Mechanical Characterization of Gelatin-Flax Natural-Fiber Composites for Construction

    K. M. Hess, W. V. Srubar III*
    Journal of Renewable Materials, Vol.3, No.3, pp. 175-182, 2015, DOI:10.7569/JRM.2015.634106
    Abstract This article concerns the development and characterization of a protein-based alternative to traditional fiberreinforced polymer (FRP) composites used in construction. In this work, gelatin-based resins were prepared at various gelatin-to-water (g/w) ratios. The effects of g/w ratio and curing time on resin mechanical properties were investigated. Using gelatin resins with a 30% g/w ratio, (i) gelatin-flax and (ii) gelatin-fiberglass composites were fabricated, and their mechanical properties were characterized and compared to both (iii) epoxy-flax and (iv) epoxy-fiberglass composites. Fracture surface morphologies were investigated using scanning electron microscopy. Results indicate that gelatin-flax composites exhibit similar mechanical properties compared to the epoxy-fiberglass… More >

  • Open Access

    ARTICLE

    Sustainability Assessment of Protein-Soil Composite Materials for Limited Resource Environments

    Henning Roedel1, Isamar Rosa Plata1, Michael Lepech1,*, David Loftus2
    Journal of Renewable Materials, Vol.3, No.3, pp. 183-194, 2015, DOI:10.7569/JRM.2015.634107
    Abstract This article presents the sustainability assessment of a novel biocomposite material that is under investigation by NASA for use in construction in limited resource environments. The composite consists of soil particles solidified by a protein binding agent. Preliminary compressive strength data suggests the biocomposite could be used for numerous construction applications. To assess the biocomposite’s potential for use in sustainable construction, a comparative process-based life cycle assessment between biocomposite and concrete pavers was performed to analyze the life cycle primary energy and IMPACT 2002+ points of both types of pavers. Results show that the concrete pavers outperform the biocomposite pavers… More >

  • Open Access

    ARTICLE

    Bond Strength of Biodegradable Gelatin-Based Wood Adhesives

    D.N. Dorr, S.D. Frazier, K.M. Hess, L.S. Traeger, W.V. Srubar III*
    Journal of Renewable Materials, Vol.3, No.3, pp. 195-204, 2015, DOI:10.7569/JRM.2015.634108
    Abstract A study of the potential for gelatin-based derivatives to serve as biorenewable, biodegradable adhesives for wood and engineered wood products is presented in this article. The effect of gelatin-to-water weight percent on the mechanical, specifically ultimate breaking (bond) strength, and thermal properties was investigated using tensile testing and differential scanning calorimetry, respectively. The breaking strengths of the gelatin-based adhesives were characterized and compared to four commercially available wood adhesives. The effect of 1–5% tannin addition on the mechanical, thermal, and moisture absorption behavior of the gelatin-based adhesives was also investigated. Results show that the gelatin-based materials demonstrate 1) appropriate thermal… More >

  • Open Access

    ARTICLE

    Micromechanical Viscoelastic Analysis of Flax Fiber Reinforced Bio-Based Polyurethane Composites

    Nassibeh Hosseini1, Samad Javid1, Ali Amiri1, Chad Ulven1,*, Dean C. Webster2, Ghodrat Karami1
    Journal of Renewable Materials, Vol.3, No.3, pp. 205-215, 2015, DOI:10.7569/JRM.2015.634112
    Abstract In this study, a novel, bio-based polyol was used in the formulation of a polyurethane (PU) matrix for a composite material where fl ax fi ber was used as the reinforcement. The viscoelastic properties of the matrix and fl ax fi ber were determined by a linear viscoelastic model through experimentation and the results were used as input for the material properties in the computational model. A fi nite element micromechanical model of a representative volume element (RVE) in terms of repeating unit cells (RUC) was developed to predict the mechanical properties of composites. Six loading conditions were applied on… More >

  • Open Access

    ARTICLE

    Application of Fiber Undulation Model to Predict Oriented Strand Composite Elastic Properties

    Vikram Yadama*, Michael P. Wolcott
    Journal of Renewable Materials, Vol.3, No.3, pp. 216-223, 2015, DOI:10.7569/JRM.2015.634103
    Abstract The effects of strand undulation angles in wood-strand composites have often been ignored due to the virtual impossibility of experimental determination of their effects on composite material properties, and the diffi culty in modeling localized deviations in angle along the path of a strand. The fi ber undulation model (FUM), that has been previously verifi ed, was applied in this study to predict the elastic constants of laboratory-manufactured oriented strand panels. A stochastic approach was incorporated where a series rule of mixtures with probability density functions of angle distributions was utilized in the model to transform the elastic constants in… More >

  • Open Access

    ARTICLE

    Long-Term Creep Behavior of Flax/Vinyl Ester Composites Using Time-Temperature Superposition Principle

    Ali Amiri, Nassibeh Hosseini, Chad A. Ulven*
    Journal of Renewable Materials, Vol.3, No.3, pp. 224-233, 2015, DOI:10.7569/JRM.2015.634111
    Abstract Natural fibers have great potential to be used as reinforcement in composite materials. Cellulose, being a critical constituent of natural fibers, provides unquestionable advantages over synthetically produced fibers. Increasing demand for use of bio-based composites in different engineering and structural applications requires proper test methods and models for predicting their long-term behavior. In the present work, the time-temperature superposition principle was successfully applied to characterize creep behavior of flax/vinyl ester composites. The creep compliance vs time curves were determined and shifted along the logarithmic time axis to generate a master compliance curve. The time-temperature superposition provided an accelerated method for… More >

  • Open Access

    ARTICLE

    Design and Evaluation of Thin-Walled Hollow-Core WoodStrand Sandwich Panels

    Christopher Voth1, Nathan White2, Vikram Yadama3,*, William Cofer3
    Journal of Renewable Materials, Vol.3, No.3, pp. 234-243, 2015, DOI:10.7569/JRM.2015.634109
    Abstract Part of a long-term goal of developing a sustainable composite panel that meets both structural and energy performance requirements in building construction applications, this study discusses the development of a thinwalled wood-strand 3D core element that shows promise for a variety of panelized construction applications, such as in a building envelope. Sandwich panels take advantage of the lightweight corrugated core sandwiched between stress skin faces acting similar to an I-beam. Specific bending stiffness of sandwich panels fabricated with ponderosa pine strands was significantly higher than average values of commercially produced composite panels of equivalent thickness (141–156% and 120–133% stiffer than… More >

  • Open Access

    ARTICLE

    Can We Build with Plants? Cabin Construction Using Green Composites

    John C. Hoiby1, Anil N. Netravali2,*
    Journal of Renewable Materials, Vol.3, No.3, pp. 244-258, 2015, DOI:10.7569/JRM.2015.634110
    Abstract This article discusses the construction (virtual model) of a fully green cabin using two types of green composites: those that use natural plant-based fibers with soy protein-based resin which have mechanical properties comparable to wood and wood products, and those that use liquid crystalline cellulose fibers with soy proteinbased resin which have properties comparable to high strength steel. Green composites with moderate strength were used to create molded walls and advanced green composites were used to create the load-bearing framework of the cabin. Construction with molded composites and prefabricated framework can greatly simplify traditional wood construction based on many parts… More >

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