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Nacre-mimetic superstructure of poly(butylene succinate) structured by intense shear flow and ramie fiber as a promising strategy for simultaneous reinforcement and toughening

Abstract

Structuring nacre-mimetic superstructure during polymer melt processing could be a promising route to high performance structural materials with exceptional strength and toughness. A nacre-mimetic superstructure characterized with aligned lamellae (stiff phase) glued by amorphous polymer chains (soft and tough phase) was fabricated in a biodegradable polymer of poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) with favorable kinetics of crystallization by intense shear flow and promoted by natural ramie fiber. The well-aligned layered structure with the thickness of ~90 nm for stiff phase and ~100 nm for soft phase was identified with field-emission scanning electronic microscopy, and the nacre-mimetic superstructure was quantitatively characterized by space-resolved small angle X-ray scattering. The thicknesses of crystalline lamellae and amorphous phase layer between crystalline lamellae in aligned layers were assessed quantitatively to be 3~4 nm and 4~6 nm respectively, indicating multilayered crystal stacks form in stiff phase. The nacre-mimetic superstructure leads to highly effective load transfer between stiff phase and soft phase. Thus, nacre-mimetic superstructure in PBS and PBS/ ramie fiber biocomposite shows simultaneous enhancement in strength and toughness in comparison to the common materials without aligned layered structure. Our findings highlight the significance of nacre-mimetic superstructure in polymeric materials and provide novel perspectives for the structuring of polymeric materials during melting processing.

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 Aug 2017, accepted on 02 Oct 2017 and first published on 02 Oct 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA07654A
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Nacre-mimetic superstructure of poly(butylene succinate) structured by intense shear flow and ramie fiber as a promising strategy for simultaneous reinforcement and toughening

    X. Xie, Q. Sun, J. Lei, F. Tian, L. Xu, Z. Yan, G. Zhong and Z. Li, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7TA07654A

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