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Cellulose Nanomaterials as Binders: Laminate and Particulate Systems

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A novel application of cellulose nanomaterials, particularly cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) as a binder in conventional and novel laminate and particulate composite systems is discussed. Using cellulose nanomaterials as a reinforcing agent in conventional polymer composites faces several difficulties: 1) there are no easy ways to dry the CNF and maintain nanoscale dimensions, 2) there are compatibility issues related to cellulose-polymer bonding, and 3) there are issues related to obtaining a good distribution and redispersion of nanoscale materials inside a polymer matrix. An alternative strategy is applications in which cellulose nanomaterials can be used in the aqueous suspension form without first needing to dry them. In addition, applications should be targeted that take advantage of the impressive strength properties of these nanomaterials while capturing the nanoscale material property enhancements in the final product. It has been demonstrated that CNF is able to bond lamina of paper together to produce a new class of all-renewable paper nanolaminates with exceptional mechanical properties exceeding many reinforced plastic formulations. It has also been demonstrated that particleboard panels can be successfully manufactured without any added formaldehyde by complete replacement of urea-formaldehyde resin. Efforts to use cellulose nanomaterials in paper applications are also reviewed as well as adhesion mechanisms involved in such composite systems. The future outlook and potential market opportunities concerning this new application of cellulose nanomaterials, as well as known and potential limitations and challenges in the way of commercialization efforts, are presented.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2016

This article was made available online on 01 April 2016 as a Fast Track article with title: "Cellulose Nanomaterials as Binders: Laminate and Particulate Systems".

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  • The Journal of Renewable Materials (JRM) publishes high quality peer reviewed original research on macromolecules and additives obtained from renewable/biobased resources. Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, JRM introduces cutting-edge research on biobased monomers, polymers, additives (both organic and inorganic), their blends and composites. It showcases both fundamental aspects and new applications for renewable materials. The fundamental theories and topics pertain to chemistry of biobased monomers, macromoners and polymers, their structure-property relationship, processing using sustainable methods, characterization (spectroscopic, morphological, thermal, mechanical, and rheological), bio and environmental degradation, and life cycle analysis. Demonstration of use of renewable materials and composites in applications including adhesives, bio and environmentally degradable structures, biomedicine, construction, electrical & electronics, mechanical, mendable and self-healing systems, optics, packaging, recycling, shape-memory, and stimulus responsive systems will be presented.
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