Light-weight polypropylene composites reinforced with whole chicken feathers

Narendra Reddy, Yiqi Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Light-weight composites reinforced with whole chicken feathers have better flexural strength than composites reinforced with feather fibers (barbs) and nearly thrice higher tensile strength and seven times higher tensile modulus than composites reinforced with powdered chicken feather quill. Chicken feathers are not only inexpensive and abundantly available but also have unique properties such as low density and hollow centers that make them preferable as reinforcement materials, especially for light-weight composites. However, the traditional methods of developing composites do not provide the flexibility of using feathers in their native form as reinforcement. So far, the components in feathers such as barbs or quills have been used separately and/or feathers have been mechanically processed to destroy their native form in order to use feathers as reinforcement in composites. A new method of making composites using nonwoven webs as matrix allows the incorporation of reinforcing materials in their native form such as whole chicken feathers to develop composites. This research shows that whole chicken feathers can be used as reinforcement in composites with better flexural, tensile, and acoustic properties than composites made from processed chicken feathers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3668-3675
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 15 2010


  • Composites
  • Density
  • Light-weight
  • Poultry feathers
  • Waste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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