Lodz, Poland – PU foams made using biopolyols can have a relatively low mechanical strength. Organic and inorganic fillers have been used to enhance the mechanical properties of PU composite foams, including various forms of natural filler. Now, scientists at Lodz University of Technology have found that ground nutmeg has potential as a filler.
The chemists, led by Sylwia Czlonka, made foams using raw materials from Purinova: Purocyn B, a polymeric MDI, and Izopianol 30/10/C, a commercial mixture of polyester polyol plus flame retardant, catalyst and 1,2-propanediol chain extender. Ground nutmeg filler was added at 1, 2 or 5% wt%.
The optimal concentration was 1%. It gave PU composite foams with improved compression strength, higher flexural strength, improved impact strength and comparable thermal conductivity. Additional benefits were improved fire resistance, and a significant improvement in antibacterial properties.
‘Nutmeg [could be used]as a new reinforcing filler for PU composite foams that could be suitable for production according to the requirements of European standards,’ the authors claim. ‘[It] will promote a new application path in converting nutmeg into valuable resources for producing a new class of green materials.’
S. Czonka et al. Polymer Testing, 2020, in press: