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The present project aims at the development of new lightweight, nanotechnology enhanced bio-composites for multiple applications. The composites will exhibit innovative properties like water repellency and oleo-phobicity along with superior strength compared to their counterparts already available in the market. The ultimate target is the development of lower price and higher performance novel composite materials utilizing renewable sources. Two types of resins will be used, i.e., phenolic (phenol-formaldehyde) and epoxy resins, as the polymeric substrate. These thermoset polymers will be reinforced with cellulosic (nano)fibers for potential use in automotive interior substrates, construction and infrastructures, window pillars, package tray or trunk liner, and particleboards with wide application in furniture and interior constructions. The lignocellulosic (nano)additives will originate from kenaf, hemp and Juta, while the polymers will be synthesized from monomers derived from renewable resources (e.g. soy and Cashew nut shell liquid or triglycerides). The resulting composites and respective end products will be completely biodegradable materials and thus friendly to the environment. The successful implementation of the project can be guaranteed by the collaboration of several partners from both countries with complementary expertise. The Chinese partners (IBFC-CAAS) will provide lignocellulosic fibers and shieves as well as seeds of high quality whose cultivation will be tested for first time in Europe (Greece) from the Greek partner CRES, which will provide also kenaf fibers. The Greek University (AUTH team) will work on the production of cellulosic nanosized fibers/particles by applying advanced physicochemical methods and will study the fabrication of (nano)composites using these nanofibers. The Dalian University will work with the Greek University (AUTH) on the development of novel nanocomposites and on the harmonization of the testing procedures. Chimar S.A. (coordinator form Greek partners), will produce particleboards from shieves and thermosetting resins enhanced with (nano)additives, while AUTH will also prepare (nano)composites based on epoxy bio-resins.

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