Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are renewable and sustainable filler for polymeric nanocomposites. However, their high hydrophilicity limits their use with hydrophobic polymer for composite materials. In this study, freeze-dried CNCs were modified by transesterification with canola oil
fatty acid methyl ester to reduce the hydrophilicity. The transesterified CNCs (CNCFE) were compounded with PLA into nanocomposites. CNCFE with long-chain hydrocarbons plays a role as plasticizer. Increasing CNCFE loadings resulted in clear plasticizing effects. Lower Tg and Tm
were achieved for CNCFE-based nanocomposites. Plasticizing nanocomposite melt with CNCFE can mitigate the degradation of CNCs during thermal processing. The elongation at break of nanocomposites containing 5% CNCFE was increased. Dynamic rheological study showed the highest elastic and viscous
moduli (G') and G") and complex viscosity (G*) of nanocomposites with addition of 2% CNCFE. By tailoring the loadings of the transesterified CNCs, tunable structure and properties of nanocomposites can be obtained.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 14 October 2017
This article was made available online on 02 June 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Preparation and Characterization of the Nanocomposites from Chemically Modified Nanocellulose and Poly(lactic acid)".