Static and Dynamic Characterization of Cellulose Nanofibril Scaffold-Based Composites

Issam I. Qamhia, Ronald C. Sabo, Rani F. Elhajjar

Abstract


The reinforcement potential of novel nanocellulose-based scaffolding reinforcements composed of microfibrils 5 to 50 nm in diameter and several microns in length was investigated. The cellulose nanofibril reinforcement was used to produce a three-dimensional scaffolding. A hybrid two-step approach using vacuum pressure and hot pressing was used to integrate the nanocellulose reinforcements in a liquid molding process with an epoxy resin to manufacture composites containing fiber volume contents ranging from 0.6% to 7.5%. The mechanical properties were studied using three-point bending. The Shore-D hardness test and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were used to investigate the curing response and its relation to the mechanical properties. Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) with a three-point bend setup was used to investigate the viscoelastic behavior of the nanocellulose composite samples at various temperatures and dynamic loadings. The results using the proposed liquid resin manufacturing method for processing the nanocellulose composites showed an increased modulus and a lower strain-to-failure compared to neat resin. Dynamic testing showed a trend of lower tan delta peaks and a reduction in the glass transition temperature with the addition of nanocellulose reinforcement.

Keywords


Nanocellulose; Cellulose nanofibrils; Thermosets; Mechanical properties; Thermal properties; Viscoelastic properties; Applications

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