Reinforcement and nucleation of acetylated cellulose nanocrystals in foamed polyester composites.

Hu, F., Lin, N., Chang, P.R., and Huang, J. (2015). "Reinforcement and nucleation of acetylated cellulose nanocrystals in foamed polyester composites.", Carbohydrate Polymers, 129, pp. 208-215. doi : 10.1016/j.carbpol.2015.04.061  Access to full text

Abstract

The biodegradable foamed nanocomposites were developed from the reinforcement of surface acetylated cellulose nanocrystals (ACNC) as bionanofillers and the poly (butylene succinate) (PBS) as polymeric matrix. The surface modification of high-efficiency acetylation on the cellulose nanocrystals converted the hydrophilic hydroxyl groups to hydrophobic acetyl groups, which improved the compatibility between rigid nanoparticles and polyester matrix through the similar ester groups of two components. With the introduction of 5 wt% ACNC, the specific flexural strength (σ/ρf) and the specific flexural modulus (E/ρf) of the foamed composites significantly increased by 75.7% and 57.2% in comparison with those of the neat PBS foamed material. Meanwhile, with the change of the ACNC concentrations, the cell size and cell density of the foamed composites can be regulated and achieved the high cell density of 1.95 × 105 cells/cm3 bearing the small average cell size of 178.84 μm (5 wt% ACNC). The microstructure observation of the foamed composites indicated the moderate loading levels of rigid ACNC can serve as the reinforcing phase for the stress transfer and promote the crystallinity advancement of the foamed composites.

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