5 years ago

Reinforcement of Natural Rubber: The Use of in Situ Regenerated Cellulose from Alkaline–Urea–Aqueous System

Reinforcement of Natural Rubber: The Use of in Situ Regenerated Cellulose from Alkaline–Urea–Aqueous System
Yuanfang Luo, Hui He, Alain Dufresne, Demin Jia, Peng Yu
Cellulose, especially cellulose nanocrystal and cellulose nanofibril, has captured much attention as a bio-based candidate for the reinforcement of elastomers, but data in the use of regenerated cellulose (RC) from alkaline–urea–aqueous system as reinforcing agent remain scarce. In this contribution, fully bio-based hybrids were produced by flocculating a mixture of natural rubber (NR) latex and cellulose alkaline–urea–aqueous solution, during which NR latex particles were demulsificated to form the polymeric matrix while the porous honeycomb-like RC phase was also generated due to the coagulant-induced gelation, indicating that both the matrix and the filler were synchronously in situ formed by the bottom-up route. RC possesses a unique honeycomb-like structure which apparently could induce extensive physical entanglements, making the filler tightly interlocked with the matrix and therefore favoring the stress transfer. Predictably, RC, without any chemical modification, could endow NR with a pronounced reinforcement. Overall, this work provides (i) a unique inspiration for reinforcing NR with honeycomb-like cellulose and (ii) a better understanding of how could RC truly reinforce NR composites.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.macromol.7b01663

DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.7b01663

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