Biopolymers & Biocomposites Workshop - August 14, 2012

Analysis of Fracture Mechanics of a ROMP-based Bio-resin Using the Essential Work of Fracture Method

Riley Hanus, Hongyu Cui, and Michael Kessler
Iowa State University

The development and characterization of biobased polymer systems is of increasing interest due to the unstable price of petroleum-based polymers and efforts to increase sustainability. There is a need for biobased polymers with mechanical properties sufficient for use in structural applications. One biobased polymer that shows respectable mechanical properties is synthesized from a modified Linseed oil (Dilulin) and dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) through ring opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP). The fracture mechanics of this bio-resin were investigated. The essential work of fracture (EWF) method was found to be an effective way to analyze this system. By analysis of tensile testing and EWF data, the composition containing 30 wt% Dilulin was found to have the greatest fracture toughness and showed an EWF (w_e) of 23.1 kJ/mˆ2. The EWF testing method results were verified by comparison with the well-established J-integral method. This study aided the progress of the relatively new EWF method for analyzing ductile materials as well as successfully characterized a bio-resin with mechanical properties sufficient for structural use.