Carbon fibre reinforced cellulose-based polymers: intensifying interfacial adhesion between the fibre and the matrix†
Interfacial interactions governing the interfacial adhesion between cellulose propionate and carbon fibre surface are placed under scrutiny to pave the way towards the development of green cellulose-based carbon fibre reinforced polymers. A range of molecular entities are deposited on the surface by initially grafting aromatic structures with appropriate functions via diazonium species followed by further derivatization of these entities. Cellulose propionate was also bound covalently to the surface via a tosylated derivative invoking its facile nucleophilic displacement reaction with surface-grafted amino functions. Significant increase in interfacial shear strength was obtained for the cellulose propionate-grafted carbon fibre composite as well as for the 4-(aminomethyl)benzene-functionalized sample, in the latter case possible hydrogen bonding took place with the cellulose propionate matrix. Furthermore, the positive effect of a highly lipophilic and yet compact –CF3 substituent was also noted. In order to let the grafted structure efficiently penetrate into the matrix, steric factors, lipophilicity and potential secondary interactions should be considered. It needs to be pointed out that we provide the first synthetic strategy to covalently bind cellulose derivatives to a largely graphitic surface and as such, it has relevance to carbonaceous materials being applied in cellulose-based innovative materials in the future.