Cellulose/acrylic acid copolymer blends for films and coating applications



Enzymatically treated cellulose was dissolved in a NaOH/ZnO solvent system and mixed together with poly(ethylene-co-acrylic acid) (PE-co-AA) or poly(acrylamide-co-acrylic acid) (PAA-co-AA) polymers, in order to improve the properties of dissolved cellulose and to prepare homogeneous cellulose-based blends for films and coatings. The solution stage properties of the blends were evaluated by rheological methods and the precipitated dry blends were characterized by dynamic mechanical analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, and scanning electron microscopy. Paperboard coating tests done at laboratory scale showed dissolved cellulose/acrylic acid copolymer-based blends function well as coating materials. All of the tested blends showed a good resistance against grease in the coating trials, having grease resistance from 60 to 69 days despite a very thin (∼2 µm) coating layer. In addition, cellulose/PE-co-AA coating showed improved water vapor and oxygen barrier properties when compared with neat dissolved cellulose-coated paperboard. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 40286.