Magnetic alignment of cellulose nanowhiskers in an all-cellulose composite
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- Li, D., Liu, Z., Al-Haik, M. et al. Polym. Bull. (2010) 65: 635. doi:10.1007/s00289-010-0276-z
Unidirectional reinforced nanocomposite paper was fabricated from cellulose nanowhiskers and wood pulp under an externally applied magnetic field. A 1.2 Tesla magnetic field was applied in order to align the nanowhiskers in the pulp as it was being formed into a sheet of paper. The magnetic alignment was driven by the characteristic negative diamagnetic anisotropy of the cellulose nanowhiskers. ESEM micrographs demonstrated unidirectional alignment of the nanowhiskers in the all-cellulose composite paper. Comparing with control paper sheets made from wood pulp only, the storage modulus in the all-cellulose nanocomposites increased dramatically. The storage modulus along the direction perpendicular to the magnetic field was much stronger than that parallel to the magnetic field. This new nanocomposite, which contains preferentially oriented microstructures and has improved mechanical properties, demonstrates the possibility of expanding the functionality of paper products and constitutes a promising alternative to hydrocarbon based materials and fibers.