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Article

Melt-Spun Nanocomposite Fibers Reinforced with Aligned Tunicate Nanocrystals

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Adolphe Merkle Institute, University of Fribourg, Chemin des Verdiers 4, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland
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Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA
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College of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg, University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland, Boulevard de Pérolles 80, CH-1705 Fribourg, Switzerland
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Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(12), 1912; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11121912
Received: 10 October 2019 / Revised: 8 November 2019 / Accepted: 13 November 2019 / Published: 20 November 2019
The fabrication of nanocomposite films and fibers based on cellulose nanocrystals (P-tCNCs) and a thermoplastic polyurethane (PU) elastomer is reported. High-aspect-ratio P-tCNCs were isolated from tunicates using phosphoric acid hydrolysis, which is a process that affords nanocrystals displaying high thermal stability. Nanocomposites were produced by solvent casting (films) or melt-mixing in a twin-screw extruder and subsequent melt-spinning (fibers). The processing protocols were found to affect the orientation of both PU hard segments and the P-tCNCs within the PU matrix and therefore the mechanical properties. While the films were isotropic, both the polymer matrix and the P-tCNCs proved to be aligned along the fiber direction in the fibers, as shown using SAXS/WAXS, angle-dependent Raman spectroscopy, and birefringence analysis. Tensile tests reveal that fibers and films, at similar P-tCNC contents, display Young’s moduli and strain-at-break that are within the same order of magnitude, but the stress-at-break was found to be ten-times higher for fibers, conferring them a superior toughness over films. View Full-Text
Keywords: cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs); polyurethane; nanocomposite fibers; melt-spinning; reinforcement; orientation; thermal stability cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs); polyurethane; nanocomposite fibers; melt-spinning; reinforcement; orientation; thermal stability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Redondo, A.; Chatterjee, S.; Brodard, P.; Korley, L.T.J.; Weder, C.; Gunkel, I.; Steiner, U. Melt-Spun Nanocomposite Fibers Reinforced with Aligned Tunicate Nanocrystals. Polymers 2019, 11, 1912. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11121912

AMA Style

Redondo A, Chatterjee S, Brodard P, Korley LTJ, Weder C, Gunkel I, Steiner U. Melt-Spun Nanocomposite Fibers Reinforced with Aligned Tunicate Nanocrystals. Polymers. 2019; 11(12):1912. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11121912

Chicago/Turabian Style

Redondo, Alexandre, Sourav Chatterjee, Pierre Brodard, LaShanda T.J. Korley, Christoph Weder, Ilja Gunkel, and Ullrich Steiner. 2019. "Melt-Spun Nanocomposite Fibers Reinforced with Aligned Tunicate Nanocrystals" Polymers 11, no. 12: 1912. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11121912

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