Processing strategy for reduced energy demand of nanostructured CNF/clay composites with tailored interfaces

Carbohydr Polym. 2023 Jul 15;312:120788. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2023.120788. Epub 2023 Mar 11.


Nacre-mimicking nanocomposites based on colloidal cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) and clay nanoparticles show excellent mechanical properties, yet processing typically involves preparation of two colloids followed by a mixing step, which is time- and energy-consuming. In this study, a facile preparation method using low energy kitchen blenders is reported in which CNF disintegration, clay exfoliation and mixing carried out in one step. Compared to composites made from the conventional method, the energy demand is reduced by about 97 %; the composites also show higher strength and work to fracture. Colloidal stability, CNF/clay nanostructure, and CNF/clay orientation are well characterized. The results suggest favorable effects from hemicellulose-rich, negatively charged pulp fibers and corresponding CNFs. CNF disintegration and colloidal stability are facilitated with substantial CNF/clay interfacial interaction. The results show a more sustainable and industrially relevant processing concept for strong CNF/clay nanocomposites.

PMID:37059528 | DOI:10.1016/j.carbpol.2023.120788


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