Polymer and Materials Science
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
Composite materials were processed by casting a mixture of aqueous suspensions of latex and microfibrils. These microfibrils, or whiskers, are extracted from a sea animal and are monocrystals of cellulose, with an aspect ratio around 100 and an average diameter of 20 nm. It has been found that the mechanical properties (shear modulus) are increased by more than two orders of magnitude in the rubbery state of the polymeric matrix, when the whisker content was 6% (w/w). This very large effect is discussed on the basis of different types of mechanical models and it is concluded that these whiskers form a rigid network, probably linked by hydrogen bonds. The formation of this network is assumed to be governed by a percolation mechanism.
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