A Fast Method to Produce Strong NFC Filmas as a Platform for Barrier and Functional Materials

Monika Österberg, Jari Vartiainen, Jessica Lucenius, Ulla Hippi, Jukka Seppälä, Ritva Serimaa, Janne Laine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

287 Citations (Scopus)
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In this study we present a rapid method to prepare robust, solvent resistant nanofibrillated (NFC) cellulose films that can be further surface modified for functionality. The oxygen, water vapor and grease barrier properties of the films were measured and in addition mechanical properties in dry and wet state, and solvent resistance were evaluated. The pure unmodified NFC films were good barriers for oxygen gas and grease. At relative humidity below 65%, oxygen permeability of the pure and unmodified NFC film was below 0.6 cm3µmm-2d-1kPa-1, and no grease penetrated the film. However, the largest advantage of these films was their resistance to various solvents, like water, methanol, toluene and dimethylacetamide. Although they absorbed a substantial amount of solvent, the films could still be handled after 24h of solvent soaking. Hot-pressing was introduced as a convenient method to increase not only the drying speed of the films but also enhance the robustness of the films. The wet strength of films increased due to the pressing. Thus they can be chemically or physically modified through adsorption or direct chemical reaction in both aqueous and organic solvents. Through these modifications the properties of the film can be enhanced introducing e.g. functionality, hydrophobicity or bioactivity. Herein a simple method using surface coating with wax to improve hydrophobicity and oxygen barrier properties at very high humidity is described. Through this modification the oxygen permeability decreased further and was below 17 cm3µmm-2d-1kPa-1 even at 97.4 % RH and the water vapor transmission rate decreased from 600 to 40 g/m2day. The wax treatment did not deteriorate the dry strength of the film. Possible reasons for the unique properties are discussed. The developed robust NFC films can be used as a generic, environmentally sustainable platform for functional materials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4640-4647
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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