Glucomannan composite films with cellulose nanowhiskers
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Spruce galactoglucomannans (GGM) and konjac glucomannan (KGM) were mixed with cellulose nanowhiskers (CNW) to form composite films. Remarkable effects of CNW on the appearance of the films were detected when viewed with regular and polarizing optical microscopes and with a scanning electron microscope. Addition of CNW to KGM-based films induced the formation of fiberlike structures with lengths of several millimeters. In GGM-based films, rodlike structures with lengths of several tens of micrometers were formed. The degree of crystallinity of mannan in the plasticized KGM-based films increased slightly when CNW were added, from 25 to 30%. The tensile strength of the KGM-based films not containing glycerol increased with increasing CNW content from 57 to 74 MPa, but that of glycerol-plasticized KGM and GGM films was not affected. Interestingly, the notable differences in the film structure did not appear to be related to the thermal properties of the films.