ASCC researchers earn 3 publications in June!

Eliminating Energy-Intensive Drying with a Sustainable Approach for Nano-Scale Cellulose Nanocrystals

An article by ASCC researchers J. Elliot Sanders, Lu Wang, Gabriella Brinkley & Douglass J. Gardner was recently published in Cellulose. Titled “Production of nano-scale cellulose nanocrystal powder via electrospray drying (ESD) for sustainable composites“. This research explores electrospray drying (ESD) with electro-hydro dynamic atomization (EHDA) to produce dry nano-scale cellulose nanocrystal powder.

This approach overcomes the energy-intensive drying process of nano-scale cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) powder. Addressing this challenge increases the efficiency of production and reduces the impact on the environment. The nano-scale CNC particles result in unique properties and improved material performance when being integrated into composite materials, which promotes advancements in fields like construction, aerospace, and automotives. This method holds promise for transforming industries and driving advancements in sustainability and the performance of composite materials.


Revolutionizing C-FRTP Shaping: Innovative Heating Method Reduces Waste and Maximizes Efficiency of Continuous Glass Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastic Composites

An article by ASCC researchers James Gayton, William Davids, James Haller, Jordan Duffy, Cody Sheltra, Roberto Lopez-Anido, Habib Dagher and Justin Lapp was recently published in the Journal of Composite Materials. Titled, “Heating of thick continuous glass fiber reinforced thermoplastic plates via embedded metal mesh networks”, this research investigates an alternative method to heating continuous glass fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites (C-FRTP).

C-FRTP have exceptional strength, are lightweight and have potential for cost-effective production. However, working with thick C-FRTP poses challenges when heating them uniformly for shaping and forming. ASCC researchers proposed a method to address this issue: employing embedded wire mesh resistive heating elements to heat areas of these composites locally. This method allows for increased flexibility in shaping composite components, which makes it easier to optimize the heating process by efficiently forming C-FRTP composites, which reduces waste and minimizies the consumption of energy. The cost-effectiveness of this heating method opens new possibilities for industries working with these materials.

Bioinspired design toward nanocellulose-based materials

An article by researchers was recently published in Materials Today. Titled, “Bioinspired design toward nanocellulose-based materials”, this research explores using nature as an inspiration for designing and developing nanocellulose materials. Authored by Xianhui Zhao, Samarthya Bhagia, Diego Gomez-Maldonado, Xiaomin Tang, Sanjita Wasti, Shun Lu, Shuyang Zhang, Mahesh Parit, Mitchell L. Rencheck, Matthew Korey, Huixin Jiang, Jiadeng Zhu, Xianzhi Meng, Meghan E. Lamm, Katie Copenhaver, Maria S. Peresin, Lu Wang, Halil Tekinalp, Guang Yang, Vipin Kumar, Gang Chen, Kashif Nawaz, X. Chelsea Chen, Uday Vaidya, Arthur J. Ragauskas, Erin Webb, Douglas J. Gardner, Ping He, Ximin He, Kai Li, and Soydan Ozcan.

By drawing inspiration from the designs of nature, ASCC researchers have created nanocellulose materials that mirror the qualities and characteristics of structures found in nature. These nanocellulose materials offer a number of advantages, improving the thermal stability, enhancing the mechanical strength of the composite, and creating a more sustainable and environmentally friendly material. Using bio-based nanocellulose materials as feedstock is both renewable and sustainable: it contributes to the development of environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional materials. Bioinspired designs promote sustainable practices within a variety of industries, like engineering and construction.