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Cellulose Nanofibril (CNF) Reinforced Starch Insulating Foams

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 January 2014

N. Yildirim
Affiliation:
The Advanced Structures and Composites Center, University of Maine, 35 Flagstaff Road, Orono, ME, 04469-5793 T: (207) 581-2123, F: (207) 581-2074 School of Forest Resources, University of Maine, 5755 Nutting Hall, Orono, ME 04469-5755 T: (207) 581-2841, F: (207) 581-2875
S.M. Shaler
Affiliation:
The Advanced Structures and Composites Center, University of Maine, 35 Flagstaff Road, Orono, ME, 04469-5793 T: (207) 581-2123, F: (207) 581-2074 School of Forest Resources, University of Maine, 5755 Nutting Hall, Orono, ME 04469-5755 T: (207) 581-2841, F: (207) 581-2875
D.J. Gardner
Affiliation:
The Advanced Structures and Composites Center, University of Maine, 35 Flagstaff Road, Orono, ME, 04469-5793 T: (207) 581-2123, F: (207) 581-2074 School of Forest Resources, University of Maine, 5755 Nutting Hall, Orono, ME 04469-5755 T: (207) 581-2841, F: (207) 581-2875
R. Rice
Affiliation:
School of Forest Resources, University of Maine, 5755 Nutting Hall, Orono, ME 04469-5755 T: (207) 581-2841, F: (207) 581-2875
D.W. Bousfield
Affiliation:
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Maine, 5737 Jenness Hall, Orono, ME 04469-5737 T: (207) 581-2277, F: (207) 581-2323
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Abstract

In this study, biodegradable foams were produced using cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) and starch (S). The availability of high volumes of CNFs at lower costs is rapidly progressing with advances in pilot-scale and commercial facilities. The foams were produced using a freeze-drying process with CNF/S water suspensions ranging from 1 to 7.5 wt. % solids content. Microscopic evaluation showed that the foams have a microcellular structure and that the foam walls are covered with CNF`s. The CNF's had diameters ranging from 30 nm to 100 nm. Pore sizes within the foam walls ranged from 20 nm to 100 nm. The materials` densities ranging from 0.012 to 0.082 g/cm3 with corresponding porosities between 93.46% and 99.10%. Thermal conductivity ranged from 0.041 to 0.054 W/m-K. The mechanical performance of the foams produced from the starch control was extremely low and the material was very friable. The addition of CNF's to starch was required to produce foams, which exhibited structural integrity. The mechanical properties of materials were positively correlated with solids content and CNF/S ratios. The mechanical and thermal properties for the foams produced in this study appear promising for applications such as insulation and packaging.

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Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2014 

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