The goal is to gain new understand of how to make substantially improved composites of thermoplastic polymers reinforced with cellulose nano-fibes (CNF). New opportunities will be explored with wet state mixing of CNF and polymer. The new composite materials would represent one of the first examples of large scale nanotechnology, such as for use in packaging, automotive and building applications. Extensive research has dealt with composites made of thermoplastics reinforced with CNF, aimed at finding a new generation of high-performing bio-composites. The documentation show very little progress in terms of dispersion of fibres and adhesion to the matrix, rendering unexpected low reinforcement. The lack of progress is likely due to the well-known tendency of CNF to form irreversible aggregates when dried. It is commonly agreed that some new manufacturing processes are needed, to support a major progress. This work will explore possibilities with a new method to substantially improve the dispersion of CNF in a polymer matrix by mixing CNF suspension with a polymer solution, allowing for substantially reduced the aggregation of CNF and improved adhesion by improved interaction of CNF with dissolved polymer. Recent not published work has shown encouraging possibilities with the method, expected to support a substantial improvement of mechanical performance of CNF-containing thermoplastic composites, such as a factor of 10 improvements in both stiffness and strength.
Professor vid Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Polymer Technology
Professor vid Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Engineering Materials
Funding Chalmers participation during 2016–2020
Areas of Advance