Rigid polyurethane foams (RPUFs) were modified with 0–15 wt.% turkey feather fibers (TFFs) produced from waste turkey feathers. One-shut free rising method was used for the production of TFFs-filled-RPUFs in a closed mold. The dependence of mechanical performance and water vapor permeability (WVP) feature of the final foams on TFFs loading was evaluated with free volume change. The free volume analysis was performed via Positron Annihilation Lifetime Spectroscopy (PALS), while the mechanical and WVP characteristics were determined with the use of the universal tester machines. PALS findings showed that the incorporation of TFFs with RPUF matrix caused the considerable diminishment in the free volume due to TFFs serving as a filling material and formation of strong secondary bonds between components. Moreover, tensile strength and extension of the foams decreased with the increasing of TFFs, which caused by the occurrence of noteworthy restriction on the spatial alignment and orientation capability of polyurethane chains due to the lack of sufficient free volume allowing the chains to move freely. As for the compression tests, all the TFFs-loaded RPUFs depicted substantially lower performance due to TFFs interfering with the ordered organization of isocyanate domains. Moreover, impact test results showed that the addition of TFFs into RPUF matrix brought about the insufficient impact energy delocalization throughout the matrix due to the restriction on the mobility of polymer chains. Additionally, the remarkable diminishment in WVP was recorded due to the reduction in the number of vacancies and constitution of keratin composed of roundly 60% of hydrophilic protein (especially cystine). All in all, this study established a strong links between free volume and characteristics of TFFs-loaded RPUFs.
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