Structure and mechanical properties of new biomass-based nanocomposite: Castor oil-based polyurethane reinforced with acetylated cellulose nanocrystal.

Lin, S., Huang, J., Chang, P.R., Wei, S., Xu, Y., and Zhang, Q. (2013). "Structure and mechanical properties of new biomass-based nanocomposite: Castor oil-based polyurethane reinforced with acetylated cellulose nanocrystal.", Carbohydrate Polymers, 95(1), pp. 91-99. doi : 10.1016/j.carbpol.2013.02.023  Access to full text

Abstract

New nanocomposites consisting of a castor oil-based polyurethane matrix filled with acetylated cellulose nanocrystals (ACNs) were developed. The ACN exhibited improved dispersion in tetrahydrofuran as a blending medium, and reduced polarity as compared with unmodified cellulose nanocrystals, resulting in a high loading level of 25 wt% in the nanocomposite. As the ACN loading-level increased from 0% to 25%, the tensile strength and Young's modulus of the nanocomposites increased from 2.79 MPa to 10.41 MPa and from 0.98 MPa to 42.61 MPa, respectively. When the ACN loading-level was 10 wt%, the breaking elongation of the nanocomposites reached the maximum value of more than twice that of the polyurethane. The enhanced mechanical performance was primarily attributed to the formation of a three-dimensional ACN network and strong interfacial interactions between filler and matrix. This work produced new polyurethane-based nanocomposites containing modified cellulose nanocrystal with a high biomass content. Its high performance could contribute to potential applications.

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