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Cellulose

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 1133–1145 | Cite as

Grafting from ramie fiber with poly(MMA) or poly(MA) via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization

  • Jing Chen
  • Jie Yi
  • Ping Sun
  • Zhao-Tie LiuEmail author
  • Zhong-Wen Liu
Article

Abstract

Reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization was utilized to control the grafting of methyl methacrylate (MMA) and methyl acrylate (MA) from natural ramie fibers substrate. The hydroxyl groups of ramie fibers were first converted to 2-dithiobenzoyl isobutyrate as a RAFT chain transfer agent (CTA), which was further grafted with MMA or MA mediated by the RAFT polymerization in a presence of 2-(ethoxycarbonyl)prop-2-yl dithiobenzoate as a free chain transfer agent. Hydrophobic poly(MMA) or poly(MA) modified ramie fibers with contact angles greater than 130° were obtained. The modified ramie fibers were analyzed by gravimetry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetry and contact angle measurements. The results indicate that the polymer chains had indeed been grafted from the surface of the ramie fibers with an average 33% of the hydroxyl groups in the raw ramie fiber substituted by 2-bromoisobutyryl bromide and an average grafting ratio of 25% poly(MMA) or poly(MA) related to ramie fiber. The homopolymers formed in the copolymerization were also analyzed to estimate molecular weights and polydispersity indices of grafting chains from the surface of ramie fibers by size exclusion chromatography, which showed narrow polydispersity with the PDIs to be <1.32. This study provides a novel and feasible approach to the preparation of functional composite materials for utilizing the abundant natural ramie fiber cellulose resource.

Keywords

RAFT Ramie fiber Grafting polymerization Modification Hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity 

Abbreviations

MMA

Methyl methacrylate

MA

Methyl acrylate

BIBB

2-Bromoisobutyryl bromide

ECPDB

2-(Ethoxycarbonyl)prop-2-yl dithiobenzoate

AIBN

2,2′-Azobis(isobutyronitrile)

THF

Tetrahydrofuran

NMP

N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone

DMAP

2-(Dimethylamino)pyridine

CTA

Chain transfer agent

TMS

Tetramethylsilane

RAFT

Reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer

FT-IR

Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy

SEM

Scanning electron microscopy

DSC

Differential scanning calorimetry

NMR

Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

TG

Thermogravimetry

PDIs

Polydispersity indices

SEC

Size exclusion chromatography

EDS

Energy dispersive spectrometer

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education (20070718003).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jing Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jie Yi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ping Sun
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhao-Tie Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Zhong-Wen Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Applied Surface and Colloid Chemistry, Ministry of EducationShaanxi Normal UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Chemistry and Materials ScienceShaanxi Normal UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China

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