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Properties of films composed of cellulose nanowhiskers and a cellulose matrix regenerated from alkali/urea solution.

Authors
  • Qi, Haisong
  • Cai, Jie
  • Zhang, Lina
  • Kuga, Shigenori
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biomacromolecules
Publisher
American Chemical Society
Publication Date
Jun 08, 2009
Volume
10
Issue
6
Pages
1597–1602
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1021/bm9001975
PMID: 19415903
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

All-cellulose composite films were prepared, for the first time, from native cellulose nanowhiskers and cellulose matrix regenerated from aqueous NaOH-urea solvent system on the basis of their temperature-dependent solubility. The cellulose whiskers retained their needlelike morphology with mean length and diameter of 300 and 21 nm as well as native crystallinity when added to the latter solution at ambient temperature. The structure and physical properties of the nanocomposite films were characterized by scanning electron microscope, X-ray diffraction, and tensile tests. The composite films were isotropic and transparent to visible light and showed good mechanical properties as a result of the reinforcement by the whiskers. By varying the ratio of the cellulose whiskers to regenerated cellulose matrix (cellulose II), the tensile strength and elastic modulus of the nanocomposite films could be tuned to reach 124 MPa and 5 GPa, respectively. The tensile strength of the nanocomposite films could reach 157 MPa through a simple drawing process, with the calculated Hermans' orientation parameter of 0.30. This work provided a novel pathway for the preparation of biodegradable all-cellulose nanocomposites, which are expected to be useful as biomaterials and food ingredients.

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