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Influence of Dispersion and Orientation on Polyamide-6 Cellulose Nanocomposites Manufactured through Liquid-Assisted Extrusion
Luleå University of Technology, Sweden.
Luleå University of Technology, Sweden.
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2624-5693
Luleå University of Technology, Sweden; University of Toronto, Canada.
2022 (English)In: Nanomaterials, E-ISSN 2079-4991, Vol. 12, no 5, article id 818Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study, the possibility of adding nanocellulose and its dispersion to polyamide 6 (PA6), a polymer with a high melting temperature, is investigated using melt extrusion. The main challenges of the extrusion of these materials are achieving a homogeneous dispersion and avoiding the thermal degradation of nanocellulose. These challenges are overcome by using an aqueous suspension of never-dried nanocellulose, which is pumped into the molten polymer without any chemical modification or drying. Furthermore, polyethylene glycol is tested as a dispersant for nanocellulose. The dispersion, thermal degradation, and mechanical and viscoelastic properties of the nanocomposites are studied. The results show that the dispersant has a positive impact on the dispersion of nanocellulose and that the liquid-assisted melt compounding does not cause the degradation of nanocellulose. The addition of only 0.5 wt.% nanocellulose increases the stiffness of the neat polyamide 6 from 2 to 2.3 GPa and shifts the tan δ peak toward higher temperatures, indicating an interaction between PA6 and nanocellulose. The addition of the dispersant decreases the strength and modulus but has a significant effect on the elongation and toughness. To further enhance the mechanical properties of the nanocomposites, solid-state drawing is used to create an oriented structure in the polymer and nanocomposites. The orientation greatly improves its mechanical properties, and the oriented nanocomposite with polyethylene glycol as dispersant exhibits the best alignment and properties: with orientation, the strength increases from 52 to 221 MPa, modulus from 1.4 to 2.8 GPa, and toughness 30 to 33 MJ m<sup>-3</sup> in a draw ratio of 2.5. This study shows that nanocellulose can be added to PA6 by liquid-assisted extrusion with good dispersion and without degradation and that the orientation of the structure is a highly-effective method for producing thermoplastic nanocomposites with excellent mechanical properties.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI, 2022. Vol. 12, no 5, article id 818
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-63276DOI: 10.3390/nano12050818OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-63276DiVA, id: diva2:1732168
Note

The authors wish to thank Stora Enso and Knut och Alice Wallenbergs Stiftelse for their financial support (Project KAW 2018.0451). The authors are grateful to Kalle Ekman at Stora Enso Oyi, Finland for providing the cellulose material and to Treesearch Research Infrastructure for its financial support for the WAXS analysis at RISE. In addition, the authors would like to thank the Wallenberg Wood Science Center (WWSC). The authors also gratefully acknowledge Enrico Mantovani for his support during the processing of the materials.

Available from: 2023-01-30 Created: 2023-01-30 Last updated: 2023-01-30Bibliographically approved

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