Bio-inspired films based on chitosan, nanoclays and cellulose nanocrystals: structuring and properties improvement by using water-evaporation-induced self-assembly
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Herein, we report a novel approach for the preparation of chitosan films with improved mechanical and barrier properties, by incorporating a mixture of nanoclays (MMT) and cellulose nanocrystals (CNC), via a water-evaporation-induced self-assembly process. The improvements obtained were assigned to: (1) the slow evaporation of water, leading to nacre-like structures; (2) a synergistic effect created between MMT and CNC. The best mechanical properties were obtained with a weight ratio MMT/CNC 1:2, which led to a significant improvement in tensile strength (+ 230%) and tensile modulus (+ 448%). In addition, the thermal stability of the films was also improved, while the water vapor and oxygen transmission rates were reduced. The improved barrier properties were attributed to the nacre-like layered structure formed by the sodium cloisite platelets within the chitosan matrix, which slowed down the diffusion of water and oxygen.
KeywordsChitosan Cellulose nanocrystals Nanoclays Biocomposites Bioinspired materials
The authors express their gratitude towards PLACAMAT (France) for SEM analysis, towards Vincent Baylac (Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France) for OTR measurements and towards Eric Lebraud (ICMCB, University of Bordeaux, France) for XRD analysis.
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