Learning from Nature: The Revival of Cottonid

In the race to find sustainable materials, cellulose fibers occupy the pole position. As one of the best-available biopolymers, the recyclable natural material is leaps and bounds ahead of other traditional biomass materials such as starch, lignin, and sugars. Natural materials' structural and functional properties for technical applications are also not unknown in materials science and engineering. A remarkable revival is being experienced by the cellulose-based material Cottonid, which was patented in the early-mid-19th century. It is considered one of the oldest plastics.

What are the biomechanical properties of Cottonid? What possible applications arise from the material's process-structure-property relationships under mechanical stress or moisture absorption and release? In the DGM short webinar on 29 April 2022, M.Sc. Ronja Scholz, Chair of Materials Testing Technology, Technical University of Dortmund, presented the current status of her research on the actuation and fatigue behavior of the biopolymeric Cottonid. Under the heading "Cellulose-based sustainability - key materials for technical applications?", the group leader for composites provided exciting insights into the investigation of cellulose fibers in application-related environments for bio-architecture.

In the ensuing discussion, it quickly became apparent that experts from all over Germany are working intensively on sustainable materials. Many thanks to all participants and the speaker, Ms. Ronja Scholz, whose lecture gave our MatWerk-Community an exciting insight into current research on natural materials and provided an excellent networking opportunity.

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