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Open AccessArticle

Strengthening of Wood-like Materials via Densification and Nanoparticle Intercalation

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Laboratory of Bio-Inspired, Bionic, Nano, Meta Materials & Mechanics, Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, via Mesiano 77, I-38123 Trento, Italy
2
Centre for Materials and Microsystems, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, via Sommarive 18, I-38123 Trento, Italy
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Department of Physics and Earth Science, University of Ferrara, via Saragat 1/c, I-44122 Ferrara, Italy
4
Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie & Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche IFN—CNR, via alla Cascata 56/C Povo, I-38123 Trento, Italy
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Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Trento, via Sommarive 9, I-38123 Trento, Italy
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School of Engineering and Materials Science, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK
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Ket Labs, Edoardo Amaldi Foundation, via del Politecnico snc, I-00133 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(3), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10030478
Received: 16 January 2020 / Revised: 14 February 2020 / Accepted: 17 February 2020 / Published: 6 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Synthesis, Interfaces and Nanostructures)
Recently, several chemical and physical treatments were developed to improve different properties of wood. Such treatments are applicable to many types of cellulose-based materials. Densification leads the group in terms of mechanical results and comprises a chemical treatment followed by a thermo-compression stage. First, chemicals selectively etch the matrix of lignin and hemicellulose. Then, thermo-compression increases the packing density of cellulose microfibrils boosting mechanical performance. In this paper, in comparison with the state-of-the-art for wood treatments we introduce an additional nano-reinforcemeent on densified giant reed to further improve the mechanical performance. The modified nanocomposite materials are stiffer, stronger, tougher and show higher fire resistance. After the addition of nanoparticles, no relevant structural modification is induced as they are located in the gaps between cellulose microfibrils. Their peculiar positioning could increase the interfacial adhesion energy and improve the stress transfer between cellulose microfibrils. The presented process stands as a viable solution to introduce nanoparticles as new functionalities into cellulose-based natural materials. View Full-Text
Keywords: cellulose-based nanocomposites; nanoparticles; densification; alkaline treatment; giant reed; structural modifications of natural materials cellulose-based nanocomposites; nanoparticles; densification; alkaline treatment; giant reed; structural modifications of natural materials
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MDPI and ACS Style

Novel, D.; Ghio, S.; Gaiardo, A.; Picciotto, A.; Guidi, V.; Speranza, G.; Boscardin, M.; Bellutti, P.; Pugno, N.M. Strengthening of Wood-like Materials via Densification and Nanoparticle Intercalation. Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 478.

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