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    Author(s): Craig ClemonsRick Reiner
    Date: 2020
    Source: ANTEC 2020: The Virtual Edition. 6p.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Forest Products Laboratory
    PDF: Download Publication  (925.0 KB)


    In an effort to avoid freeze-drying or solvent blending techniques and to better leverage the fact that preparation of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) result in aqueous dispersions, we investigated a water-assisted melt compounding approach to disperse cellulose nanocrystals in polypropylene (PP). A simple, water-based cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) treatment of CNCs was used to reduce their hydrophilicity and inhibit hydrogen bonding. The aqueous suspension of treated CNCs was then blended with polypropylene in a thermokinetic mixer with various levels of a maleated polypropylene (MAPP) as a dispersing agent. CNC dispersion was evaluated by optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and rheology. CTAB treatment alone was insufficient to provide good dispersion but dispersion improved greatly with increasing MAPP content. At the highest levels of MAPP, agglomerates were still present but nearly all were well below 1 μm in size. However, despite a CNC content of 8%, little rheological evidence of a network structure was found that would suggest well-dispersed nanocomposites.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Clemons, Craig; Reiner, Rick. 2020. Preparation of cellulose nanocrystal-polyoropylene masterbatches by water-assisted thermokinetic mixing. ANTEC 2020: The Virtual Edition. 6p.


    Cellulose nanocrystal, polypropylene, nanocomposite, water-assisted, thermokinetic mixing

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