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Polymers 2018, 10(3), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10030270

Nature-Inspired Green Procedure for Improving Performance of Protein-Based Nanocomposites via Introduction of Nanofibrillated Cellulose-Stablized Graphene/Carbon Nanotubes Hybrid

1,2,3
,
1,2,3
and
1,2,3,*
1
Key Laboratory of Wood Materials Science and Utilization, Beijing Forestry University, Ministry of Education, Beijing 100083, China
2
Beijing Key Laboratory of Wood Science and Engineering, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
3
College of Materials Science and Technology, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 February 2018 / Revised: 28 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 March 2018 / Published: 6 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Hybrid Materials)
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Abstract

Soy protein isolate (SPI) provides a potential alternative biopolymer source to fossil fuels, but improving the mechanical properties and water resistance of SPI composites remains a huge challenge. Inspired by the synergistic effect of natural nacre, we developed a novel approach to fabricate high-performance SPI nanocomposite films based on 2D graphene (G) nanosheets and 1D carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) using a casting method. The introduction of web-like NFC promoted the uniform dispersion of graphene/CNTs in the biopolymer matrix, as well as a high extent of cross-linkage combination between the fillers and SPI matrix. The laminated and cross-linked structures of the different nanocomposite films were observed by field-emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) images. Due to the synergistic interactions of π–π stacking and hydrogen bonding between the nanofillers and SPI chains, the tensile strength of SPI/G/CNT/NFC film significantly increased by 78.9% and the water vapor permeability decreased by 31.76% in comparison to neat SPI film. In addition, the ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) light barrier performance, thermal stability, and hydrophobicity of the films were significantly improved as well. This bioinspired synergistic reinforcing strategy opens a new path for constructing high-performance nanocomposites. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanofibrillated cellulose; composite film; nanophase reinforcing; synergistic interactions nanofibrillated cellulose; composite film; nanophase reinforcing; synergistic interactions
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Jin, S.; Li, K.; Li, J. Nature-Inspired Green Procedure for Improving Performance of Protein-Based Nanocomposites via Introduction of Nanofibrillated Cellulose-Stablized Graphene/Carbon Nanotubes Hybrid. Polymers 2018, 10, 270.

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