Effect of accelerated weathering on biocomposites processed by SMC and compression molding

Geeta Mehta

Associate Professor

mehtagee@umich.edu

3044 NCRC, Building 28

T: (734) 763-3957

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Geeta Mehta, Amar K Mohanty, Lawrence T Drzal, Donatien P Kamdem, and Manjusri Misra (2006)

JOURNAL OF POLYMERS AND THE ENVIRONMENT, 14(4):359-368.

The durability of biocomposites utilized for building components hasbeen a subject of recent concern and questioning. To address theseconcerns, the long-term effects of weathering on biocomposites used asbuilding components were evaluated using an accelerated weatherometer.The biocomposite samples were processed by sheet molding compounding(SMC) panel processing and/or compression molding. The acceleratedweatherometer served to expose the samples to ultraviolet radiation(UV), condensation, and water spray at levels pertinent to actualconditions: 48 cycles of UV (340 nm) treatment at 60 degrees C for 2.5 hwas followed by water spray for 0.5 h, and then condensation at 45degrees C for 24 h. Twelve cycles were repeated in each test, and thetotal duration for the complete test was 2016 h. Measurements for color,surface roughness test weight change, and dynamical mechanical analysiswere taken at regular intervals of time. It was found that the surfaceroughness increased, as the color changed, and storage modulus decreasedwith increases in the exposure time of the samples to acceleratedweathering conditions, compared to their properties at the beginning ofthe test.

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