Polyvinyl alcohol mediated splitting of Kevlar fibers and superior mechanical performances of the subsequently assembled nanopapers
In this work, the composite of aramid nanofibers (ANFs) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) was prepared by PVA assisted splitting of macro Kevlar fibers, which assures the uniform wrapping of PVA chains on the surface of ANFs, thus leading to an enhanced interfacial bonding strength between ANFs and PVA. The morphological characterizations manifest the enhanced diameters of the ANFs after PVA wrapping. The subsequently assembled ANFs/PVA paper shows a strength of 283.25 MPa and a toughness of 32.41 MJm3, which are increased by 57% and 152% compared to the pure ANFs paper, respectively. The superior mechanical properties are attributed to the strong interfacial bonding strength, enhanced hydrogen bonding interactions, the densification of the materials, and the curved fracture paths. Meanwhile, the ANFs/PVA paper also shows robust UV shielding and visible transparency properties, as well as excellent environmental stabilities, especially under high and low temperatures.