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Reinforcing Natural Rubber with Cellulose Nanofibrils Extracted from Bleached Eucalyptus Kraft Pulp

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Reinforced natural rubber (NR) nanocomposites were prepared by solution mixing, casting, and evaporation of pre-vulcanized natural rubber latex and an aqueous suspension of cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) extracted from bleached eucalyptus kraft pulp. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images showed that there were no micro-scaled aggregates observed in the nanocomposites. The addition of CNFs changed the mechanical behavior of the nanocomposites as observed in tensile tests. The tensile strength was significantly enhanced with CNFs, but the material became brittle at higher CNFs loading levels. Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) proved the strong reinforcing tendency of CNFs in the NR matrix as the storage modulus of the nanocomposites increased with CNFs content across the entire temperature range. Thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) showed that CNFs had a slightly negative impact on the thermal stability of NR nanocomposites. There was no change in the glass transition temperature of the rubber matrix with the addition of cellulose nanofibrils, which was characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) measurements.
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Keywords: CELLULOSE NANOFIBRILS; MECHANICAL PROPERTIES; NANOCOMPOSITES; NATURAL RUBBER

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2014

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  • The goal of the creation of a biobased economy is challenging to agriculture, forestry, academia, government and industry. The extractable resources of the Earth are finite, regardless of the quibble over when they will be depleted. The economic, political and social demands for biobased chemicals, materials and energy are expected to radically transform the materials industries, particularly the plastics industry as well as the biofuel industry. These changes will be based on the principles of sustainability, eco-efficiency, industrial ecology, and green chemistry and engineering. In keeping with the growth of knowledge in this field, there is a strong need for a forum to share original research related to biobased materials and bioenergy. The Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy (JBMB) has been created as an international peer-reviewed periodical to fulfill the need for communication in these research areas. This journal will encompass related research activities in all fields of science, engineering and the life sciences.
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