Effect of hot calendering on physical properties and water vapor transfer resistance of bacterial cellulose films
This work investigates the effect of hot calendering on bacterial cellulose (BC) films properties, aiming the achievement of good transparency and barrier property. A comparison was made using vegetal cellulose (VC) films on a similar basis weight of around 40 g.m−2. The optical–structural, mechanical, and barrier properties of BC films were studied and compared with those of highly beaten VC films. The Young’s moduli and tensile index of the BC films are much higher than those obtained for VC (14.5–16.2 vs 10.8–8.7 GPa and 146.7–64.8 vs 82.8–40.3 N.m.g−1), respectively. Calendering increased significantly the transparency of BC films from 53.0 to 73.0 %. The effect of BC ozonation was also studied. Oxidation with ozone somewhat enhanced the brightness and transparency of the BC films, but at the expenses of slightly lower mechanical properties. BC films exhibited a low water vapor transfer rate, when compared to VC films and this property decreased by around 70 % following calendering, for all films tested. These results show that calendering could be used as a process to obtain films suitable for food packaging applications, where transparency, good mechanical performance, and barrier properties are important. The BC films obtained herein are valuable products that could be a good alternative to the highly used plastics in this industry.
KeywordsBacterial Cellulose Water Vapor Permeability Ozone Treatment Cellulose Nanofibrils Tensile Index
The authors thank FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia) and FEDER (Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional) for the financial support of the project FCT PTDC/AGR-FOR/3090/2012—FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-027948 and the awarding of a research grant for Vera Costa.
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