High performance poly (vinyl alcohol)/cellulose nanocrystals nanocomposites manufactured by injection molding
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Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)/cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) compounds were successfully melt-processed by injection molding. During the processing, water was involved in the system as both the dispersion medium for CNCs and the plasticizer for PVA. Meanwhile, formamide was added to prevent the evaporation of water and to co-plasticize PVA. Thermal gravimetric analysis and differential scanning calorimetry indicated the melt processing window of PVA was expanded by 40 °C. Tensile tests showed that the mechanical properties of injection-molded samples were significantly improved with the addition of CNCs. The tensile strength of the composites increased from 32 to 58 MPa, and modulus increased from 175 to 1,252 MPa when 7 wt% CNCs was added. Moreover, the volume shrinkage of PVA nanocomposites upon drying as well as their water leaching rate could be remarkably reduced in the presence of CNCs.
KeywordsCellulose nanocrystals Poly (vinyl alcohol) Injection molding Mechanical properties Thermal properties
The authors would like to thank Natural Science Foundation of China (50833003 and 51303112) and Young Scholar Fund of Sichuan University (2012SCU11074) for financial support of this work.
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