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Poly(ε-caprolactone)/cellulose nanocrystal nanocomposite mechanical reinforcement and morphology : the role of nanocrystal pre-dispersion

Germiniani, Luiz G.L.; da Silva, Laura C.E.; Plivelic, Tomás S. LU and Gonçalves, Maria C. (2019) In Journal of Materials Science 54(1). p.414-426
Abstract

Cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) incorporation in polymeric matrices is an environmentally friendly approach to mechanical reinforcement. In general, significant mechanical reinforcement can only be achieved by means of good CNC dispersion at random orientation. These primary characteristics are even more relevant for the preparation of nanocomposites based on hydrophobic matrices, such as poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL). A straightforward approach to improve CNC dispersion in hydrophobic matrices is their surface modification. However, this extra step is usually complex and often impairs particle–particle interactions, which are also key to mechanical reinforcement. In this work, poly(ε-caprolactone)/neat cellulose nanocrystal nanocomposites... (More)

Cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) incorporation in polymeric matrices is an environmentally friendly approach to mechanical reinforcement. In general, significant mechanical reinforcement can only be achieved by means of good CNC dispersion at random orientation. These primary characteristics are even more relevant for the preparation of nanocomposites based on hydrophobic matrices, such as poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL). A straightforward approach to improve CNC dispersion in hydrophobic matrices is their surface modification. However, this extra step is usually complex and often impairs particle–particle interactions, which are also key to mechanical reinforcement. In this work, poly(ε-caprolactone)/neat cellulose nanocrystal nanocomposites were prepared by a specific procedure that combined solvent exchange and solvent casting methodologies, avoiding the use of any additives or chemical modification. These nanocomposites were investigated in terms of the CNC percolation network formation and its effect on the overall mechanical properties. The results showed that significant mechanical reinforcement was obtained, reaching a 155% Young’s modulus increase at 25 wt% CNC content. TEM showed a percolated network in the PCL/CNC25 nanocomposite. In terms of morphology and nanostructure, increasing CNC concentration also promoted a reduction in PCL spherulite size and lamellar thickness. These results pointed out to CNC preferential localization in the interfibrillar region. In conclusion, the solvent exchange methodology presented herein led to mechanically reinforced PCL/CNC nanocomposites with small crystalline domains intertwined with a percolated CNC network.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Materials Science
volume
54
issue
1
pages
414 - 426
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:85052797750
ISSN
0022-2461
DOI
10.1007/s10853-018-2860-9
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c547abdd-d9d2-4d6c-8d8b-c25a9993d522
date added to LUP
2018-09-28 12:26:39
date last changed
2019-10-15 06:45:55
@article{c547abdd-d9d2-4d6c-8d8b-c25a9993d522,
  abstract     = {<p>Cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) incorporation in polymeric matrices is an environmentally friendly approach to mechanical reinforcement. In general, significant mechanical reinforcement can only be achieved by means of good CNC dispersion at random orientation. These primary characteristics are even more relevant for the preparation of nanocomposites based on hydrophobic matrices, such as poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL). A straightforward approach to improve CNC dispersion in hydrophobic matrices is their surface modification. However, this extra step is usually complex and often impairs particle–particle interactions, which are also key to mechanical reinforcement. In this work, poly(ε-caprolactone)/neat cellulose nanocrystal nanocomposites were prepared by a specific procedure that combined solvent exchange and solvent casting methodologies, avoiding the use of any additives or chemical modification. These nanocomposites were investigated in terms of the CNC percolation network formation and its effect on the overall mechanical properties. The results showed that significant mechanical reinforcement was obtained, reaching a 155% Young’s modulus increase at 25 wt% CNC content. TEM showed a percolated network in the PCL/CNC25 nanocomposite. In terms of morphology and nanostructure, increasing CNC concentration also promoted a reduction in PCL spherulite size and lamellar thickness. These results pointed out to CNC preferential localization in the interfibrillar region. In conclusion, the solvent exchange methodology presented herein led to mechanically reinforced PCL/CNC nanocomposites with small crystalline domains intertwined with a percolated CNC network.</p>},
  author       = {Germiniani, Luiz G.L. and da Silva, Laura C.E. and Plivelic, Tomás S. and Gonçalves, Maria C.},
  issn         = {0022-2461},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {414--426},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Journal of Materials Science},
  title        = {Poly(ε-caprolactone)/cellulose nanocrystal nanocomposite mechanical reinforcement and morphology : the role of nanocrystal pre-dispersion},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10853-018-2860-9},
  volume       = {54},
  year         = {2019},
}