Synergistic Ionic Liquids - Chitin Nanowhiskers (CNWs) - Epoxy Nanocomposites for Improved Mechanical Properties
Chitin is an abundant resource in the form of shell waste from food industry in Canada and the world. BOCO Bio-Nanotechnologies has currently the infrastructure in place for scalable extraction of chitin nanowhiskers (CNWs) from crab shells. CNWs are the crystalline form of chitin molecules, possessing high strength, stiffness and aspect ratio, making them an ideal candidate for polymer reinforcement. A significant market opportunity for BOCO is to incorporate CNWs in epoxy to develop epoxy nanocomposites with tremendous mechanical properties. However, the incorporating of CNWs is limited by chitin’s intrinsic self agglomeration thus cannot achieve expected property enhancement and certain loadings. Therefore, the objective of this project is to develop a new nanofiller processing technique for optimal filler loadings and reinforcement in the composites. Parametric study will be performed for quantitative analysis to support the technological and commercial requirements of the company.