Preparation of poly(styrene-co-hexylacrylate)/cellulose whiskers nanocomposites via miniemulsion polymerization

Authors

  • Aymen Ben Elmabrouk,

    1. Laboratoive Sciences des Matériaux et Environnement (LMSE)-Faculté des sciences de Sfax, BP 802-3018, Sfax-Tunisia
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  • Thielemans Wim,

    1. Driving Innovation in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (DICE), School of Chemistry and Process and Environmental Research Division-Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK
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  • Alain Dufresne,

    1. Ecole Française de Papeterie et des Industries Graphiques (EFPG-INPG), UMR CNRS no. 5518, BP 65, F-38402 St. Martin d'Hères Cedex, France
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  • Sami Boufi

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratoive Sciences des Matériaux et Environnement (LMSE)-Faculté des sciences de Sfax, BP 802-3018, Sfax-Tunisia
    • Laboratoive Sciences des Matériaux et Environnement (LMSE)-Faculté des sciences de Sfax, BP 802-3018, Sfax-Tunisia
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Abstract

A stable aqueous nanocomposite dispersion containing cellulose whiskers and a poly(styrene-co-hexylacrylate) matrix was prepared via miniemulsion polymerization. We were able to prepare a stable dispersion with a 20 wt % solid content and a cellulose whiskers content ranging from 1 up to 5 wt % based on polymer content. To avoid particle agglomeration leading to coagulum formation, the addition of a low amount of reactive silane, i.e., methacryloxypropyl triethoxysilane revealed to efficiently stabilize the dispersion. The nanocomposite dispersion was characterized using dynamic light scattering, transmission electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy. Films obtained by casting followed by water evaporation and particle coalescence were analyzed by differential scanning calorimetry, dynamic mechanical analysis, and tensile testing. At 5 wt % whiskers loading, an enhancement by 500% of the storage modulus above the glass transition was determined. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009

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