What is it about?

This study reports a very clean processing approach of incorporating cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) into a TPU matrix, with no acid or organic-solvents usage. It involves a mechanical deconstruction of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) into nanoscale particles in water and polyol through scalable bead-milling, vacuum drying, and followed by twin-screw reactive extrusion with isocyanate and chain extender.

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Why is it important?

This processing approach could be an attractive solution for processing polymer nanocomposites with a range of nanoparticles, which can be easily dispersed in water, incorporated into suitable precursors without any organic solvents, and processed via classical reactive extrusion processing methods.


The CNC prepared in this study exhibited higher–retained thermal stability for melt-processing as compared to CNC isolated via sulfuric acid-hydrolysis method. TPU–CNC nanocomposites prepared with a stoichiometric ratio of up to 1.01 for 0.5 wt% and 1.02 for 0.8 wt% CNC loading, displayed a remarkable improvement in tensile strength (up to 28%), toughness, and tear strength without significant compliance on inherent elastic properties of TPU matrix. They have also exhibited modest improvement in creep resistance and resilience.

Dr Pratheep K Annamalai
University of Queensland

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A cleaner processing approach for cellulose reinforced thermoplastic polyurethane nanocomposites, Polymer Engineering & Science, January 2022, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1002/pen.25899.
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