A new strategy to elaborate polymer composites via Pickering emulsion polymerization of a wide range of monomers
We report a novel strategy to prepare polymer composites reinforced with cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) via Pickering emulsion polymerization. Acetylated CNCs (CNCAs) with different surface properties were prepared by transesterification of vinyl acetate, and were subsequently used to stabilize a large panel of oil/water monomer emulsions of increasing polarity and solubility in water. Free radical polymerization of these systems was later performed to produce composite latexes, which were characterized in terms of size, uniformity and molecular weight. The most promising latexes were then shaped by extrusion molding, and the impact of the CNCA fillers and latex size (micro or nanobeads) on the mechanical properties of the composites was investigated.