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Characterization methodology to assess the mechanical properties of delignified birch/PMMA transparent wood biocomposites

Nicolo' Arcieri

Characterization methodology to assess the mechanical properties of delignified birch/PMMA transparent wood biocomposites.

Rel. Federico Carosio. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Dei Materiali, 2022

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Transparent wood (TW) biocomposites are a new attractive class of materials. They are based on a delignified wood template impregnated by a refraction index-matching polymer. TW can be tailored in order to show a wide range of functional, optical, and mechanical properties. Moreover, being biobased, they are seen as a possible key material to replace more environmentally impactful materials in various sectors including the construction industry. However, unlike the functional properties, the mechanical behaviour of this class of materials has been poorly investigated. Therefore, in this thesis, the aim was to extend the current knowledge about the mechanical response of these materials by using a two-step mechanical characterization on TW and native wood as reference material. The TW was prepared by impregnation of delignified birch veneers by PMMA. The mechanical characterization was carried out using different techniques. The Young’s modulus and the flexural strength along the transverse direction were studied by four-point bending tests. The results showed an improvement for both properties compared to native birch wood. The fracture perpendicular to the grain (TR system) was investigated by performing in situ single-edge-notched four-point bending tests onto a scanning electron microscope to observe how the cracks propagate in this complex microstructure. A remarkable improvement (about 275 percent) in fracture toughness was found compared to the native wood. Furthermore, the in situ single-edge-notched four-point bending test was also applied, together with the digital image correlation (DIC) technique, to study the strain field during the crack growth, specifically the formation of the fracture process zone (FPZ) around the crack tip. Then, an equation describing the cohesive law was proposed for both materials based on experimental observations that can be ultimately used for fracture mechanics simulations. Finally, it was briefly shown how to make use of the measured mechanical properties of the novel TW for material selection for engineering applications.

Relators: Federico Carosio
Academic year: 2021/22
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 85
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Dei Materiali
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-53 - MATERIALS ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: KTH Royal Institute of Technology
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/21989
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