Preparation of partially acetylated chitin nanofiber/polyethylene composite film
Advanced Materials Letters,
2017, Volume 8, Issue 4, Pages 362-367
Chitin is widely distributed in nature and an important renewable resource. However, it has been difficult to provide a wide variety of material applications from chitin, due to poor solubility and processability. In this study, we performed surface modification of self-assembled chitin nanofibers (CNFs) by acetylation and their composite fabrication with a commodity plastic, low density polyethylene (LDPE). The self-assembled CNF dispersion with DMF was first prepared by regeneration from a chitin ion gel with an ionic liquid, 1-allyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide (AMIMBr), using methanol, followed by exchange of a dispersion medium according to the previously reported method by us. Surface acetylation of the product was then performed by reaction of acetic anhydride in the dispersion to obtain partially acetylated CNFs, which formed a film by isolation. The composites of the film with LDPE with the different weight ratios were fabricated by pressing at 170 o C at 0.1 MPa. The SEM measurements of the products observed the morphologies that LDPE interpenetrated from surfaces into cross-sections of the partially acetylated CNF films with increasing the LDPE ratios. The tensile testing of the composite films indicated reinforcing effect of LDPE present in the composites.
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