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Article

Highly Toughened and Transparent Biobased Epoxy Composites Reinforced with Cellulose Nanofibrils

1
Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto, 33 Willcocks Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3B3, Canada
2
Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba, E2-376 Engineering and Information Technology Complex (EITC), 75 Chancellors Circle, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5V6, Canada
3
Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, 200 College Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3E5, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(4), 612; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11040612
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 31 March 2019 / Accepted: 2 April 2019 / Published: 3 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Polymer Composites)
Biobased nanofillers, such as cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs), have been widely used as reinforcing fillers for various polymers due to their high mechanical properties and potential for sustainable production. In this study, CNF-based composites with a commercial biobased epoxy resin were prepared and characterized to determine the morphology, mechanical, thermal, and barrier properties. The addition of 18–23 wt % of CNFs to epoxy significantly increased the modulus, strength and strain of the resulting composites. The addition of fibrils led to an overall increase in strain energy density or modulus of toughness by almost 184 times for the composites compared to the neat epoxy. The addition of CNFs did not affect the high thermal stability of epoxy. The presence of nanofibrils had a strong reinforcing effect in both glassy and glass transition region of the composites. A significant decrease in intensity in tan δ peak for the epoxy matrix occurred with the addition of CNFs, indicating a high interaction between fibrils and epoxy during the phase transition. The presence of highly crystalline and high aspect ratio CNFs (23 wt %) decreased the water vapour permeability of the neat epoxy resin by more than 50%. View Full-Text
Keywords: biobased epoxy; cellulose nanofibrils; composite toughness biobased epoxy; cellulose nanofibrils; composite toughness
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nair, S.S.; Dartiailh, C.; Levin, D.B.; Yan, N. Highly Toughened and Transparent Biobased Epoxy Composites Reinforced with Cellulose Nanofibrils. Polymers 2019, 11, 612. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11040612

AMA Style

Nair SS, Dartiailh C, Levin DB, Yan N. Highly Toughened and Transparent Biobased Epoxy Composites Reinforced with Cellulose Nanofibrils. Polymers. 2019; 11(4):612. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11040612

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nair, Sandeep S., Christopher Dartiailh, David B. Levin, and Ning Yan. 2019. "Highly Toughened and Transparent Biobased Epoxy Composites Reinforced with Cellulose Nanofibrils" Polymers 11, no. 4: 612. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11040612

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