Production of new high-performance CNF biocomposites (Cellulose nano-composites)

The goal is to gain new understand of how to make substantially improved composites of thermoplastic polymers reinforced with cellulose nano-fibes (CNF). New opportunities will be explored with wet state mixing of CNF and polymer. The new composite materials would represent one of the first examples of large scale nanotechnology, such as for use in packaging, automotive and building applications. Extensive research has dealt with composites made of thermoplastics reinforced with CNF, aimed at finding a new generation of high-performing bio-composites. The documentation show very little progress in terms of dispersion of fibres and adhesion to the matrix, rendering unexpected low reinforcement. The lack of progress is likely due to the well-known tendency of CNF to form irreversible aggregates when dried. It is commonly agreed that some new manufacturing processes are needed, to support a major progress. This work will explore possibilities with a new method to substantially improve the dispersion of CNF in a polymer matrix by mixing CNF suspension with a polymer solution, allowing for substantially reduced the aggregation of CNF and improved adhesion by improved interaction of CNF with dissolved polymer. Recent not published work has shown encouraging possibilities with the method, expected to support a substantial improvement of mechanical performance of CNF-containing thermoplastic composites, such as a factor of 10 improvements in both stiffness and strength.

Partner organizations

  • Wallenberg Wood Science Center (WWSC) (Centre, Sweden)
Start date 01/01/2016
End date 31/12/2020

Published: Fri 11 Nov 2016. Modified: Thu 20 Sep 2018