University of Oulu

Nissilä, T., Wei, J., Geng, S., Teleman, A., & Oksman, K. (2021). Ice-Templated Cellulose Nanofiber Filaments as a Reinforcement Material in Epoxy Composites. Nanomaterials, 11(2), 490.

Ice-templated cellulose nanofiber filaments as a reinforcement material in epoxy composites

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Author: Nissilä, Tuukka1; Wei, Jiayuan2; Geng, Shiyu2;
Organizations: 1Fibre and Particle Engineering Research Unit, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
2Division of Materials Science, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Luleå University of Technology, SE-97187 Luleå, Sweden
3RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, SE-11428 Stockholm, Sweden
4Mechanical & Industrial Engineering (MIE), University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3G8, Canada
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-02-17


Finding renewable alternatives to the commonly used reinforcement materials in composites is attracting a significant amount of research interest. Nanocellulose is a promising candidate owing to its wide availability and favorable properties such as high Young’s modulus. This study addressed the major problems inherent to cellulose nanocomposites, namely, controlling the fiber structure and obtaining a sufficient interfacial adhesion between nanocellulose and a non-hydrophilic matrix. Unidirectionally aligned cellulose nanofiber filament mats were obtained via ice-templating, and chemical vapor deposition was used to cover the filament surfaces with an aminosilane before impregnating the mats with a bio-epoxy resin. The process resulted in cellulose nanocomposites with an oriented structure and a strong fiber–matrix interface. Diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy studies revealed the presence of silane on the filaments. The improved interface, resulting from the surface treatment, was observable in electron microscopy images and was further confirmed by the significant increase in the tan delta peak temperature. The storage modulus of the matrix could be improved up to 2.5-fold with 18 wt% filament content and was significantly higher in the filament direction. Wide-angle X-ray scattering was used to study the orientation of cellulose nanofibers in the filament mats and the composites, and the corresponding orientation indices were 0.6 and 0.53, respectively, indicating a significant level of alignment.

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Series: Nanomaterials
ISSN: 2079-4991
ISSN-E: 2079-4991
ISSN-L: 2079-4991
Volume: 11
Issue: 2
Article number: 490
DOI: 10.3390/nano11020490
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 216 Materials engineering
221 Nanotechnology
Funding: Business Finland (formerly the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, TEKES) is acknowledged for their financial support (grant no. 1841/31/2014). Part of the work was carried out with the support of the Centre for Material Analysis, University of Oulu, Finland. We acknowledge Bio4Energy project for financial support, MAX IV Laboratory for time on beamline NanoMAX under Proposal 20190363. Research conducted at MAX IV, a Swedish national user facility, is supported by the Swedish Research Council under contract 2018-07152, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems under contract 2018-04969, and Formas under contract 2019-02496. Treesearch Research Infrastructure is acknowledged for their financial support of the WAXS analysis at RISE.
Copyright information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( /by/4.0/).