Preparation and Characterisation of Cellulose Nanofibres Reinforced Polymer Composites

Muhamad, Martini and Hornsby, P. R. and Carmicheal, E. and Sharma, H. S. S (2014) Preparation and Characterisation of Cellulose Nanofibres Reinforced Polymer Composites. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 8 (4). pp. 577-592. ISSN 1991-8178

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Optimised routes have been established to obtain high aspect ratio cellulose microfibrils derived from plant feedstocks, involving a combination of a chemical and mechanical treatment using a high pressure microfluidizer. By this means, nano-cellulose was produced from banana tree using following pretreatment protocol: (i) chemical modification, involving mercerization and acid hydrolysis; (ii) mechanical treatment, using a high speed (Turrax) mixer and high pressure microfluidisation and (iii) chemical and mechanical (chemo-mechanical) processes, by combining TEMPOoxidation and high pressure microfluidisation. The nanofibres produced were characterised using microscopic procedures (scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy), particle size distribution measurement (static image analysis and laser diffraction), chemical analysis (zeta potential analysis, fourier transform infrared and x-ray diffraction), and thermal analysis (thermogravimetric analysis). Results obtained and subsequent trends observed in chemical, mechanical and chemo-mechanical treated nanofibres were compared and contrasted. The chemomechanical treatment (TEMPO-oxidation and high pressure microfluidisation) yielded higher aspect ratio nanofibrils than nanofibrils made by solely chemical or mechanical treatment. Cellulose nanofibrils made by chemo-mechanical treatment also gave higher yield and high degree of crystallinity. Cellulose nanofibres obtained were subsequently incorporated into polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) by a solution casting technique. Mechanical properties of these systems were determined from tensile tests and DMTA. Large increases in tensile modulus and strength were determined at fibre loadings up to 5wt%. However, mechanical properties of the composites were dependent on the applied preparation route. From this work, a direct comparison between the nano and micronscale fibres can be observed in terms of their relative reinforcing efficiency. For instance, there was a 100% improvement in tensile modulus of conventional banana fibre-reinforced polymer composite by 30 wt% loading of micron-sized banana fibres. On the other hand, there was 300% improvement has been recorded in tensile modulus for cellulose nanofibre-reinforced polymer composite with only 5 wt% of cellulose nanofibres.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: nanocomposites; nanofibre; mechanical properties; thermal properties
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Faculty / Institute: Faculty of Design Arts & Engineering Technology
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2016 04:41
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2016 04:41

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