The effect of the dispersion of microfibrillated cellulose on the mechanical properties of melt-compounded polypropylene–polyethylene copolymer

Caterina Palange, Marcus A. Johns, David J. Scurr, Jonathan S. Phipps, Stephen J. Eichhorn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
202 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) is a highly expanded, high surface area networked form of cellulose-based reinforcement. Due to the poor compatibility of cellulose with most common apolar thermoplastic matrices, the production of cellulose-reinforced composites in industry is currently limited to polar materials. In this study, a facile water-based chemistry, based on the reaction of MFC with tannic acid and subsequent functionalisation with an alkyl amine, is used to render the surface of the MFC fibrils hydrophobic and enhance the dispersion of the cellulose-based filler into an apolar thermoplastic matrix. The level of dispersion of the compatibilized MFC reinforced composites was evaluated using Time of Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry and multi-channel Spectral Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy. The agglomeration of cellulosic filler within the composites was reduced by functionalising the surface of the MFC fibrils with tannic acid and octadecylamine. The resulting composites exhibited an increase in modulus at a high cellulose content. Despite the dispersion of a large portion of the functionalised filler, the presence of some remaining aggregates affected the impact properties of the composites produced.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9645-9659
Number of pages15
JournalCellulose
Volume26
Early online date27 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Microfibrillated cellulose
  • Composites
  • Mechanical properties

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of the dispersion of microfibrillated cellulose on the mechanical properties of melt-compounded polypropylene–polyethylene copolymer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this