Identification of Important Process Variables for Fiber Spinning of Protein Nanotubes Generated from Waste Materials
ARMY NATICK SOLDIER RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING CENTER MA
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Current composites for the military e.g. carbon fibers are typically derived from polyacrylonitrile PAN polymer fibers. Synthesis utilizes toxic chemicals, volatile organic solvents and extremely high temperatures. The technical approach herein addresses these shortcomings by replacing said toxic materials with protein nanotubesnanofibrils generated from waste materials and utilizing aqueous based fiber spinning to eliminate the need for hazardous processes. B. OBJECTIVE This effort brings together the expertise of Professor Gerrards team at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand with that of the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center NSRDEC for the development and characterization of military relevant fibers. We have specifically explored the feasibility of spinning protein nanotubes into fibers and initiated characterization of the properties of such fibers. Our deliverable includes methods for controlling nanofibril structure, spinning fish lens protein into fibers, identification of important spin dope processing and fiber spinning parameters for further optimization as well as a qualitative comparison of the properties of the fibers for selected variables explored.