FIBRILLATION OF FLAX AND WHEAT STRAW CELLULOSE: EFFECTS ON THERMAL, MORPHOLOGICAL, AND VISCOELASTIC PROPERTIES OF POLY(VINYLALCOHOL)/FIBRE COMPOSITES

Marta Hrabalova, Manfred Schwanninger, Rupert Wimmer, Adriana Gregorova, Tanja Zimmermann, Norbert Mundigler

Abstract


Nano-fibrillated cellulose was produced from flax and wheat straw cellulose pulps by high pressure disintegration. The reinforcing potential of both disintegrated nano-celluloses in a polyvinyl-alcohol matrix was evaluated. Disintegration of wheat straw was significantly more time and energy consuming. Disintegration did not lead to distinct changes in the degree of polymerization; however, the fibre diameter reduction was more than a hundredfold, creating a nano-fibrillated cellulose network, as shown through field-emission-scanning electron microscopy. Composite films were prepared from polyvinyl alcohol and filled with nano-fibrillated celluloses up to 40% mass fractions. Nano-fibrillated flax showed better dispersion in the polyvinyl alcohol matrix, compared to nano-fibrillated wheat straw. Dynamic mechanical analysis of composites revealed that the glass transition and rubbery region increased more strongly with included flax nano-fibrils. Intermolecular interactions between cellulose fibrils and polyvinyl alcohol matrix were shown through differential scanning calorimetry and attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The selection of appropriate raw cellulose material for high pressure disintegration was an indispensable factor for the processing of nano-fibrillated cellulose, which is essential for the functional optimization of products.

Keywords


Polyvinyl alcohol; Nano-fibrillated cellulose; Composite film; Viscoelastic properties; Thermal properties; Film; ATR-FTIR

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