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Vol. 210, Issue 3, March 2017, pp. 1-8




Flexural, Viscoelastic and Thermal Properties of Epoxy Polymer Composites Modified
with Cellulose Nanofibers Extracted from Wheat Straw

Md. Nuruddin, * Mahesh HOSUR, Tanjheel MAHDI, Shaik JEELANI

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL-36088, USA
Tel.: +1334-724-4220, fax: +1334-724-4220

* E-mail: hosur@mytu.tuskegee.edu


Received: 9 January 2017 /Accepted: 28 February 2017 /Published: 31 March 2017

Digital Sensors and Sensor Sysstems


Abstract: The objective of this study is to extract cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) from wheat straw and utilize them in thermoset polymers to improve their performance. CNFs were extracted from wheat straw by formic/peroxyformic acid treatment, hydrogen peroxide bleaching, followed by ball milling. To ensure better interaction between CNFs and epoxy polymer matrix, surface of CNFs was chemically modified by silane treatment. Furthermore, surface treated CNFs were added in varying proportion (1, 2 and 3 %) to an epoxy polymer to fabricate polymer composites. The chemical reaction and structural analysis was evaluated by FTIR analysis. Incorporation of CNFs into matrix increased flexure strength, flexure modulus, storage modulus, glass transition temperature and decomposition temperatures. Maximum improvement was observed for 2 % loading of CNFs as it facilitates maximum crosslinking with epoxy polymers. Maximum improvement in flexure strength and modulus of 22.5 % and 31.7 %, respectively was obtained by the addition of 2 % CNFs. Furthermore, storage modulus was 22.3 % higher than neat epoxy for 2 % loading of CNFs at room temperature, while Tg improved by 18 %. Thermal stability of composite was improved probably due to the catalytic effect of CNFs. Cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) enhanced both first and second decomposition temperatures by up to 19 and 14 C, respectively over neat system.


Keywords: Cellulose nanofibers, Ball milling, Epoxy polymer, Glass transition temperature, Decomposition.


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