Nano-composite is the reinforced composite material consists of nano-scale reinforcing fillers and matrix polymer. Fillers are dispersed within nano-scale and need just less amount than conventional reinforcing fillers such as glass fiber, carbon fiber and so on, but the properties of composites are greatly improved. At the beginning, inorganic nano-scale fillers such as nanoclay, montmorillonite, silica and mica were mainly used as reinforcing filler, but the interests in cellulose nano-composites consists of nanocellulose fiber and matrix polymer are enhanced more and more in recent years. There would be only negligible deterioration of properties in case of recycling; therefore, it is able to be an environmentally friendly composite material. Especially, cellulose nano-composites are best representative eco-friendly material as compared with inorganic filler reinforced nano-composites.
It can be used in various applications such as packaging, automobile industry, electronics, aerospace and building/constructions. For example, automobile contains polymer composites about 10% of its total weight and reducing its weight is one of the most important issues. Most of the polymer composites in automobile are reinforced PP composites. If the cellulose nano-composites can replace with them, it is able to reduce automobile’s weight significantly. To apply polymeric nano-composites to automobile part, it is very important to characterize its thermal stability, physical, mechanical and chemical resistance.
It is worth conducting researches in the field of cellulose nano-composites because it is only a period of growth. It would be an interesting and challengeable task for the researchers.
I conduct scientific research into microfibrillated cellulose-polymeric matrix nano-composite materials including cellulose nanofiber reinforced thermoplastics and other nanocellulose materials developed as part of the FBRI while working with faculty and staff personnel at the AEWC Center and FBRI.
In Other Words
I make and examine the properties of cellulose nano-composites which will be used for packaging, automobile industry, electronics, aerospace and building/constructions. Wood and other fibers from various plants have an advantage such as light weight and would be environmentally friendly material for the composites. Most of the plastic parts in automobile are mineral filler reinforced plastic composites. If we use the light material such as cellulose nano-composites as compared with mineral filled plastics, we can reduce energy consumption significantly. And in case of going to the landfill at the end of use, it is also able to reduce environmental pollution due to the non-biodegradable plastics.
Click to view Han-Seung Yang’s CV
5793 AEWC Building , Room 104
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469
tel: (207) 581-2182
fax: (207) 581-2074