Kondo, H. Shikoku Kakouki
Aerogels are highly porous solids formed by replacing the liquid in a gel by air, without changing the original structure. The present cellulose aerogels are made by sublimating the water from a colloidal suspension of cellulose nanofibers. The nanofibers form three-dimensional networks, crosslinked by hydrogen bonds bridging the surface hydroxyl groups and also by mechanical entanglements between nanofibers. Although the studies on aerogels from cellulose nanofiber hydrogels by freeze drying reported so far had produced small samples, improved cooling techniques that produces larger samples were attempted and the obtained cellulose nanofiber aerogels were impregnated with epoxy resin to fabricate composites. The highly porous structure allowed complete impregnation of resin and translucent composites were produced. The modulus of composites was increased in relation to neat epoxy, but due to high brittleness the ultimate strength was decreased. This is likely caused by nanofiber agglomerations of uneven pore sizes acting as stress concentrators. The evaluation of the mechanical properties of composites serves as an indirect way to assess the quality of the aerogels produced.
Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites
AN Nakagaito, H Kondo, H Takagi, Cellulose nanofiber aerogel production and applications, Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites (Volume: 32 issue: 20) pp. 1547-1552. Copyright © 2013 SAGE Publications. DOI: 10.1177/0731684413494110.
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