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Bio-based nanocomposites of cellulose acetate and nano-clay with superior mechanical properties

: Hassan-Nejad, M.; Ganster, J.; Bohn, A.; Pinnow, M.; Volkert, B.


Heinze, T.:
Novel aspects of the renewable resource cellulose : Selected contributions from the conference: 50th Cellulose Symposium, in: Wiesbaden (Germany), June 24 - 26, 2008
Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, 2009 (Macromolecular symposia 280)
ISSN: 1022-1360
ISSN: 0258-0322
Cellulose Symposium <50, 2008, Wiesbaden>
Zellcheming Meeting <103, 2008, Wiesbaden>
Conference Paper, Journal Article
Fraunhofer IAP ()

Bio-based nanocomposites were manufactured by melt intercalation of nanoclays and cellulose acetate (CA) with and without plasticizer. Glycerol triacetate (triacetin) as plasticizer up to 30 mass%, and different types of organo-modified and unmodified montmorillonites (MMTs) as filler were used. X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), were used to study clay dispersion, intercalation/exfoliation, and structure of the composites. XRD and TEM revealed very good dispersion and exfoliation of modified clay throughout the CA matrix. While for unmodified clay agglomeration and poor dispersion but an intercalated structure was observed. The mechanical properties of injection moulded test bars were determined by a tensile experiment giving tensile strength, Young's modulus and elongation at break. Adding plasticizer facilitated the processing and Up to 20 mass%, increased the tensile strength, Young's modulus and elongation at break as well. Higher amount of plasticizer diminished the tensile properties except elongation showing a slight increase. in all plasticized composites, organo-modified clay improved the tensile strength and at the same time, young's modulus and elongation almost remained constant. on the other hand, plasticized CA compounded with unmodified clay revealed lower properties. in a particular case, compounding of unplasticized CA with unmodified clay resulted in superior mechanical properties with a novel structure. So that, in optimum percentage -5 mass%-of unmodified clay, tensile strength and young's modulus increased significantly by 335% and 100%, to 178 MPa and 8.4 GPa, respectively. This is a dramatic improvement in strength and stiffness of CA. Adding organo-modified clay resulted in a little improvement in tensile properties. SEM pictures of the optimum composite showed a core/shell structure with high orientation in the shell part. It is supposed that this behaviour is caused by the interaction between CA hydroxyl groups and free cations existing in the galleries of unmodified clay.