Effect of shear forces on dispersion-related properties of microcrystalline cellulose-reinforced EVOH composites for advanced applications

Georg Graninger, Sandeep Kumar*, Graham Garrett, Brian G. Falzon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Recently, inexpensive and readily available bio-renewable microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) has been explored as a filler to mechanically reinforce thermoplastic matrices. Most research focuses on surface modification of MCC to improve dispersion in the polymer matrix. Herein, two screw configurations (low shear (LS) and high shear (HS)) were designed for twin-screw extrusion to investigate the effect of shear, during processing, on the dispersion of MCC particles in an ethylene–vinyl alcohol (EVOH) matrix. The results demonstrate the significance of the high shear screw configuration on the size of MCC particles, and their in-situ fibrillation and distribution within the EVOH matrix. HS mixing of EVOH/MCC resulted in a significant increase in flexural strength and storage modulus compared to EVOH/MCC (LS) composites, similar to property improvement in EVOH/cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) composites at the same loading, thus providing an alternative to energy-intensive CNC in continuous melt processing without an appreciable rise in production costs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106103
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Volume139
Early online date18 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 18 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • A. Cellulose
  • B. Mechanical properties
  • D. Electron microscopy
  • E. Extrusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials

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