Tensile properties of cellulose fiber reinforced hydroxypropylcellulose films

J.P. Borges, M.H. Godinho, A.F. Martins, Dimitrios Stamatialis, M.N. De Pinho, M.N. Belgacem

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The tensile properties of cross-linked and uncross-linked composite films (thickness 20-35 m) prepared from Hydroxypropylcellulose (HPC) with incorporation of microcrystalline cellulose fibers (Avicel) were studied. The concentration of fibers in the composites ranged from 0 to 30 w/w% and cross-linked composites were obtained by the reaction of HPC-Avicel mixtures with 1,4-butyldiisocyanate. It was demonstrated that the inclusion of fibers in a HPC matrix produces composites with enhanced mechanical properties that are improved by cross-linking. Mechanical results seem to indicate that the elastic deformation of the cross-linked composites is predominantly dominated by the fiber content while the cross-linking affects mainly the plastic deformation. Maximum values of the Young's Modulus, yield stress and tensile stress were observed at 10 w/w% for the cross-linked and 20 w/w% for the uncross-linked composites. Furthermore cross-linked films with 10 w/w% of fibers present values of yield stress and tensile stress that are in average 15 to 20% higher than those obtained for uncross-linked composites with 20 w/w% of fibers. Studies in Polarizing Optical Microscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) seem to indicate that tensile properties of these composites are correlated to the packing of fibers. For the concentration of the utilized cross-linking agent, and for a fiber content of 10 w/w%, an optimal packing of fibers throughout the matrix has been correlated to the minimal difference between the roughness parameters obtained by AFM analysis of the top and bottom surfaces of the films.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)102-110
JournalPolymer composites
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • IR-72004
  • METIS-221783

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