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Queen Mary University of LondonQueen Mary University of London
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School of Engineering and Materials Science
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PhD Thesis: All Cellulose Composites

Author: SOYEABKAEW, Nattakan

Year: 2007

Supervisor(s): Dr Ray Smith

A recent emerging concept of all-cellulose composites within the field of ecocomposites has received increased attention. Strong cellulose reinforcements (e.g. fibres and microcrystalline) were favourably combined with a cellulose matrix. In this way, biodegradable composites of high-performance can be produced from renewable resources. In the present study, all-cellulose composites were successfully prepared by: i) conventional impregnation method of the cellulose matrix into the aligned cellulose fibres and ii) selective dissolution method where the cellulose fibre skins were partially dissolved to form a matrix phase that bonds the fibres together, while the strong core fibres were maintained and impart a real reinforcing effect to
the composites. The range of cellulose fibres used in this work includes natural ligno-cellulosic fibres (i.e. ramie) and regenerated-cellulose fibres (i.e. high and low draw ratio Lyocell fibres as well as Bocell a high modulus cellulose fibre spun from anisotropic phosphoric acid solution). The structure, morphology and mechanical properties of the composites were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, dynamic mechanical analysis, thermogravimetry analysis, Raman spectroscopy, and tensile testing. The prepared all-cellulose
composites show strong interfaces and excellent mechanical properties up to a tensile strength of 910 MPa and a Young’s modulus of 28 GPa. Bacterial cellulose is also used as another cellulose source to prepare all-cellulose nanocomposites. These all-cellulose composites show significant prospects as high-performance materials with an environmentally friendly biobased and biodegradable character.

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