Different types of microfibrillated cellulose as filler materials in polysodium acrylate superabsorbents
Journal article, 2011
Three types of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) with differences in structure and surface charge were used at low concentration as filler materials in polysodium acrylate superabsorbents (SAPs). The swelling of the composite hydrogels was determined in 0.9% NaCl solution as well as in deionized water. The shear modulus of the samples was determined through uniaxial compression analysis after synthesis and after swelling in 0.9% NaCl solution. Furthermore, the ability to retain filler effects after washing was investigated. The results showed that all of the investigated MFCs had a strong reinforcing effect on the shear modulus after synthesis. The filler effect on swelling and on the associated shear modulus of swollen samples showed a more complicated dependence on structure and surface charge. Finally, it was found that the filler effects were reasonably retained after washing and subsequent drying. The results confirm that MFC holds great potential as a filler material in superabsorbent applications. Furthermore, the results provide some insight on how the structural properties and surface charge of MFC will affect gel properties depending on swelling conditions. This information should be useful in evaluating the use of different types of MFC in future applications.