Polímeros: Ciência e Tecnologia
https://www.revistapolimeros.org.br/article/doi/10.1590/0104-1428.20230022
Polímeros: Ciência e Tecnologia
Original Article

Cellulose fiber network as reinforcement of thermoplastic paraffin films

Matheus Fernandes Flores; Luciano Cordeiro; Antonio Aprigio da Silva Curvelo

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Abstract

The incorporation of natural fibers into polymer matrices poses challenges due to physicochemical incompatibility, which is typically addressed through precursor modification or the use of compatibilizers. Here, we introduce a novel type of composite that overcomes this challenge by utilizing a network of fine, porous cellulosic sheets inter-diffused with a commercial paraffin films. This approach physically adheres the fiber network to the matrix, preserving its structure. Microscopy images confirm the formation of the proposed microstructure, and mechanical testing reveals a gradual increase in modulus and strength with the incorporation of cellulose. The maximum incorporation achieved was 7.6% (w/w) of cellulosic fibers, resulting in a 167% increase (1.67 times improved) in composite stiffness. Moreover, these composites exhibit ductility, with an average deformation of 410 ± 38%, corresponding to 20% reduction in relation to pure matrix. Our findings demonstrate the potential of this approach for developing sustainable materials with improved mechanical properties.

 

 

Keywords

natural fibers, composites, network reinforcement, paper, polymer matrices

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