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Issue 14, 2018
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Rubber materials from elastomers and nanocellulose powders: filler dispersion and mechanical reinforcement

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Abstract

Rubber materials with well-dispersed fillers and large mechanical reinforcement have been obtained by melt-processing a diene elastomer matrix and tailored nanocellulose powders having both a high specific surface area and a modified interface. Such filler powders with a specific surface area of 180 m2 g−1 and 100 m2 g−1 have been obtained by freeze-drying suspensions of short needle-like cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and entangled networks of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) in tert-butanol/water, respectively. A quantitative and toposelective filler surface esterification was performed using a gas-phase protocol either with palmitoyl chloride (PCl) to obtain a hydrophobic but non-reactive nanocellulose interface, or with 3,3′-dithiopropionic acid chloride (DTACl) to introduce reactive groups that can covalently bind the nanocellulose interface to the dienic matrix in a subsequent vulcanization process. A set of filled materials was prepared varying the filler morphology, interface and volume fraction. Transmission electron microscopy images of ultrathin cryo-sections showed that modified nanocellulose fillers presented a relatively homogeneous distribution up to a volume fraction of 20%. The materials also exhibited a significant modulus increase, while keeping an extensibility in the same range as that of the neat matrix. Strikingly, in the case of the reactive interface, a strong stress-stiffening behavior was evidenced from the upward curvature of the tensile curve, leading to a large increase of the ultimate stress (up to 7 times that of the neat matrix). Taken together, these properties, which have never been previously reported for nanocellulose-filled elastomers, match well the mechanical characteristics of industrial carbon black or silica-loaded elastomers.

Graphical abstract: Rubber materials from elastomers and nanocellulose powders: filler dispersion and mechanical reinforcement

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Jan 2018, accepted on 08 Mar 2018 and first published on 09 Mar 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00210J
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018,14, 2638-2648
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    Rubber materials from elastomers and nanocellulose powders: filler dispersion and mechanical reinforcement

    M. Fumagalli, J. Berriot, B. de Gaudemaris, A. Veyland, J. Putaux, S. Molina-Boisseau and L. Heux, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 2638
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00210J

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