EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/V052977/1
Title: Manufacturing Bio-inspired "Artificial Wood" from (Low-Cost) Ionic Liquids
Principal Investigator: Lee, Dr K
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
University of Manchester, The VTT
Department: Aeronautics
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 09 August 2021 Ends: 08 August 2023 Value (£): 252,776
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design Engineering Manufacturing Machine & Plant
Materials Characterisation Materials Processing
Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Environment
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
There is currently a timely need to design and manufacture renewable materials for high volume structural applications and decouple our economy from fossil-derived non-renewable resources. Cellulose-based natural fibres are the prime candidate for the production of low-cost high-performance renewable composites. However, there is still a property-performance gap between natural fibre-reinforced polymers and traditional fossil-derived engineering materials (see Fig. 1), as the high tensile stiffness (up to 165 GPa) and strength (at least 1 GPa) of cellulose microfibrils have yet to be fully exploited in a composite setting. Nature has been very efficient at manipulating and exploiting cellulose microfibrils in wood (a natural composite) to produce high performance materials. This project will take inspiration from wood and manufacture the world's first "artificial wood", i.e. cellulose microfibril-reinforced lignin composites with the native cellulose-I structure preserved (mimicking wood cell wall), using simple and intrinsically scalable manufacturing concepts. The proposed research activities are structured around (i) manufacturing "artificial wood" from (low cost) ionic liquid, (ii) design and manufacture of unidirectional and continuous "artificial wood" fibre-reinforced renewable composites and (iii) optimising the techno-economics and lifecycle of "artificial wood"

manufacturing. It is envisaged that the resulting "artificial wood" will target engineering applications that cannot be achieved by conventional bio-based polymers or renewable natural fibre-reinforced polymers alone and could serve as alternative to traditional glass fibre-reinforced polymers.
Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Impacts
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Summary
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk