University of Oulu

Sethi, J., Illikainen, M., Sain, M., Oksman, K. (2017) Polylactic acid/polyurethane blend reinforced with cellulose nanocrystals with semi-interpenetrating polymer network (S-IPN) structure. European Polymer Journal, 86, 188-199. doi:10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2016.11.031

Polylactic acid/polyurethane blend reinforced with cellulose nanocrystals with semi-interpenetrating polymer network (S-IPN) structure

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Author: Sethi, Jatin1,2; Illikainen, Mirja1; Sain, Mohini2,3;
Organizations: 1Fibre and Particle Engineering, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Division of Materials Science, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden
3Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-02-28


The aim of the current work was to prepare and characterize a cellulose nanocrystal reinforced semi-interpenetrated network (SIPN) derived from polylactic acid (PLA) and polyurethane (PU) polymers. SIPN films were prepared using solvent casting from 1,4-dioxane solution. The morphology, mechanical and thermal properties of the neat SIPN and its nanocomposite were characterized. A novel dispersion method was used, for the first time, to disperse the CNCs into the polyol. This method led to well dispersed CNCs in the SIPN, and at 1 wt% CNC concentration, the elastic modulus of the nanocomposite was improved by 54% over an unreinforced SIPN. Additionally, the results indicated that the toughness of PLA, which is the main polymer phase, was improved. However, in the nanocomposite, CNCs formed a strong network and reinforced the PU phase, which resulted in a lower toughness of the final material. The storage modulus of the SIPN nanocomposite was higher than that of the neat PLA at temperatures higher than 55 °C up to 100 °C. This increase in thermomechanical properties indicates that the reinforced PU network in the PLA matrix can enhance the thermal behavior of material.

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Series: European polymer journal
ISSN: 0014-3057
ISSN-E: 1873-1945
ISSN-L: 0014-3057
Volume: 86
Pages: 188 - 199
DOI: 10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2016.11.031
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 215 Chemical engineering
221 Nanotechnology
116 Chemical sciences
Funding: The authors acknowledge the financial support of the TEKES FiDiPro Program.
Dataset Reference: Supplementary material:
Copyright information: © 2016. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license