Orientation of cellulose nanowhiskers in polyvinyl alcohol
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The goal of this study was to align cellulose nanowhiskers in a polymer using a strong magnetic field and thereby obtain a unidirectional reinforced nanocomposite. Cellulose whiskers (2 wt. %) were incorporated in a polyvinyl alcohol matrix using solution casting with water as the solvent. The suspension was cast and the water was evaporated while a homogeneous magnetic field of 7 T was applied. Different microscopy investigations of prepared nanocomposites indicated that the cellulose whiskers were oriented perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field. Dynamic mechanical thermal analysis further strengthened the idea of alignment because the results showed that the dynamic modulus of the nanocomposite was around 2 GPa higher at room temperature in the aligned direction compared to the transverse direction.
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