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    Author(s): Caitlyn M. Clarkson; Sami M. El Awad Azrak; Reaz Chowdhury; Shoumya Nandy Shuvo; James Snyder; Gregory Schueneman; Volkan Ortalan; Jeffrey P. Youngblood
    Date: 2019
    Source: ACS Applied Polymer Materials. 1(2): 160-168.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Forest Products Laboratory
    PDF: Download Publication  (3.0 MB)


    Nanocellulose has potential as a reinforcing agent to improve stiffness and strength in polymer fiber; however, the inherent difference in hydrophilicity makes it challenging to incorporate it into nonhydrophilic polymers, and the composite properties are strongly anisotropic. In the present work, a dual approach was employed to incorporate cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) into polylactic acid (PLA). Polyethylene glycol (PEG) acted as a compatibilizating agent to enable the melt spinning of CNF/PLA composite fibers without water/solvent, and CNFs were surface modified to improve compatibility, increase nano- particle thermal stability,and increase CNFdispersion in PLA.While no significant difference was observed in strength,the stiffness improved up to 600% (1.3 wt % CNF, maximum draw) in the composite fibers. This improvement was correlated with the crystallinity and fiber orientation (Herman’s order parameter) for as-spun and hot-drawn fibers.

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    Clarkson, Caitlyn M.; El Awad Azrak, Sami M.; Chowdhury, Reaz; Shuvo, Shoumya Nandy; Snyder, James; Schueneman, Gregory; Ortalan, Volkan; Youngblood, Jeffrey P. 2019. Melt spinning of cellulose nanofibril/polylactic acid (CNF/PLA) composite fibers for high stiffness. ACS Applied Polymer Materials. 1(2): 160-168.


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    Polylactic acid, processing, melt spinning, nanocellulose, CNF, nanocomposites

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