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

K. M. Hess, W. V. Srubar III*

Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, ECOT 441 UCB 428, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0428 USA

* Corresponding Author: email

Journal of Renewable Materials 2015, 3(3), 175-182.


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 composites and that FRP composites with fully hydrophobic or fully hydrophilic constituents have better tensile strengths than composites with a combination of hydrophobic and hydrophilic constituents. Based on this preliminary mechanical and physical property investigation, gelatin-based resins exhibit a marked potential to be used as biobased materials in the construction industry, especially in temporary structural retrofit and rehabilitation applications.


Cite This Article

APA Style
Hess, K.M., III, W.V.S. (2015). Mechanical characterization of gelatin-flax natural-fiber composites for construction. Journal of Renewable Materials, 3(3), 175-182.
Vancouver Style
Hess KM, III WVS. Mechanical characterization of gelatin-flax natural-fiber composites for construction. J Renew Mater. 2015;3(3):175-182
IEEE Style
K.M. Hess and W.V.S. III, "Mechanical Characterization of Gelatin-Flax Natural-Fiber Composites for Construction," J. Renew. Mater., vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 175-182. 2015.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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