Fabrication and properties of transparent polymethylmethacrylate/cellulose nanocrystals composites

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Nano-sized cellulose crystals were fabricated from microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) using combined sulfuric acid hydrolysis and high-pressure homogenization techniques. The crystals were then utilized to prepare polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) nanocomposites by the solution casting method. The cellulose nanocrystals had diameters from about 8 to 10nm and lengths in the range of 60-120 nm. Wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WXRD) results on the freeze-dried crystals revealed a slight increase in the degree of crystallinity after acid treatment. The composite sheets retained good transparency due to the size effect and dispersion of the cellulose nanocrystals. The thermogravimetric analysis indicated retained thermal stability of the composites. The storage modulus of the nanocomposite sheets from dynamic mechanical analysis showed significantly enhanced property in comparison with that of the pure PMMA sheets. The glass transition of the nanocomposites was shifted to lower temperatures with respect to the pure PMMA material.

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Bioresource technology

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