Effects of crystal orientation on cellulose nanocrystals-cellulose acetate nanocomposite fibers prepared by dry spinning.Biomacromolecules. 2014 Oct 13; 15(10):3827-35.B
This work presents the development of dry spun cellulose acetate (CA) fibers using cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) as reinforcements. Increasing amounts of CNCs were dispersed into CA fibers in efforts to improve the tensile strength and elastic modulus of the fiber. A systematic characterization of dispersion of CNCs in the polymer fiber and their effect on the nanocomposites' mechanical properties is described. The birefringence, thermal properties, and degree of CNC orientation of the fibers are discussed. 2D X-ray diffraction was used to quantify the degree of CNC alignment within the fibers. It is shown that the CNC alignment directly correlates to the mechanical properties of the composite. Maximum improvements of 137% in tensile strength and 637% in elastic modulus were achieved. Empirical micromechanical models Halpin-Tsai equation and an orientation modified Cox model were used to predict the fiber performance and compared with experimental results.