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    A scalable technique was introduced to produce high volume lightweight composites using sheet molding compound (SMC) manufacturing method by replacing 10 wt% glass fibers (GF) with a small amount of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC). The incorporation of 1 and 1.5 wt% CNC by dispersing in the epoxy matrix of short GF/epoxy SMC composites with 25 wt% GF content (25GF/CNC-epoxy) produced 7.5% lighter composites with the same tensile and flexural properties of 35GF/epoxy composites with no CNC. The addition of 1 wt% CNC in 25GF/CNC-epoxy SMC composites resulted in increases of 15% in elastic modulus, 11% in flexural modulus and 14% in flexural strength, reaching the corresponding properties of 35GF/ epoxy SMC composites. Moreover, it was found that although addition of CNC did not alter the impact energy, removing 10 wt% GF resulted in reduction of impact energy.

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    Asadi, Amir; Miller, Mark; Singh, Arjun V.; Moon, Robert J.; Kalaitzidou, Kyriaki. 2017. Lightweight sheet molding compound (SMC) composites containing cellulose nanocrystals. Composite Structures. 160: 211-219.


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    Cellulose nanomaterials, sheet molding compound, polymer-matrix composites (PMCs), light weighting, mechanical properties

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