Submitted to: Polymer Preprints
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 2, 2004
Publication Date: May 1, 2004
Citation: White, L.A., Delhom, C.D. 2004. Cellulose-based nanocomposites: fiber production and characterization. In Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Preprints. 227th American Chemical Society Meeting, March, 2004. Anaheim, California. Vol. 90(2). p. 45-50. Interpretive Summary: In previous work, cotton-clay nanocomposites, organic-inorganic composites are "mixed" on a near molecular level, were developed. This work reports the development of nanocomposites from other cellulosic materials and the production of fibers from the nanocomposites. They show large increases in performance properties of the matrix material with the addition of small amounts of clay. The natural fiber nanocomposites contain over 90% cellulose by weight. The fibers were produced by dissolving cotton and rapidly stirring it with the prepared clay and extruding the resulting viscous solution into a solvent to regenerate the fibrous form of cellulose. The resulting fibers show an increase of about 35°C in the thermal degradation temperature, which can be considered a measurement of flame resistance.
Technical Abstract: Regenerated cellulose nanocomposite fibers have been produced by modifications of the Lyocell method and solution spinning techniques. The composite fibers are predominantly cotton; the fiber composition that provides the best cost-to-benefit ratio is formulated, by weight, from 93% cotton and 7% clay. These fibers, like the previously produced nanocomposite materials, show improvements in thermal stability of 30-35°C compared to cotton and regenerated cellulose fibers. Additionally, regenerated nanocomposite fibers from other cellulosic sources, kenaf, ramie, and wood pulp, were produced for comparison purposes and showed a similar improvement in decomposition temperature. The nanocomposite fibers are being processed for production of non-woven and woven fabrics that are expected to show enhanced flame retardancy.