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Biodegradability Of Plastics Testing In An Undergraduate Materials Laboratory Course

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Materials Lab Experiments and Demonstrations

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

15.231.1 - 15.231.12



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Paper Authors


Lori Rosario Rochester Institute of Technology

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Lori Rosario is a graduate student at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Mechanical & Manufacturing Systems Integration. She completed her Mechanical Engineering Technology. She has completed internships at Johnson and Johnson McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Delphi Automotive Systems and the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Systems (CIMS)at the Rochester Institute of Technology as a Fuel Cells Research Engineer.

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Elizabeth Dell Rochester Institute of Technology

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Elizabeth Dell is an Assistant Professor of Manufacturing & Mechanical Engineering Technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She is the Program Chair for Undeclared Engineering Technology. Dell received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University and has an MS in Macromolecular Science & Engineering from the University of Michigan. She has worked in the automotive industry in the development of plastic products from fuel system components to interior trim.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Biodegradability of Plastics Testing in an Undergraduate Materials Laboratory


As a growing concern for the environment has become an important issue nationally and globally, more efforts have been in place to sustain our resources. Sustainable materials are of increasing industrial importance. As such, it is imperative that students are educated about the importance of these materials. One such material is biodegradable polymers. A laboratory procedure for testing biodegradability of polymers was designed for an undergraduate materials laboratory course. Testing biodegradability of plastics allows students to gain a fuller understanding of these materials. Implementing biodegradable testing in a curriculum provides active learning by hands-on testing and encourages students to engage in lifelong learning to continue to build their knowledge of emerging materials. This paper describes an investigation of testing biodegradability of biodegradable plastics by monitoring carbon dioxide evolution and degradation of physical properties. A cost-effective method to test biodegradability is also described.

Rosario, L., & Dell, E. (2010, June), Biodegradability Of Plastics Testing In An Undergraduate Materials Laboratory Course Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16014

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