Recyclable and Mendable Cellulose-Reinforced Composites Crosslinked with Diels⁻Alder Adducts.


Display Materials & Components Research Center, Korea Electronics Technology Institute, 25 Saenari-ro, Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do 13509, Korea. [Email]


Owing to their natural abundance and exceptional mechanical properties, cellulose fibers (CFs) have been used for reinforcing polymers. Despite these merits, dispersing hydrophilic CFs in a hydrophobic polymer matrix is challenging. To address this, an amphiphilic ammonium salt was employed as the dispersant for CFs in this study. The hydrophobic CFs were mixed with a healable polymer to produce CF-reinforced composites. As the thermosetting polymer was crosslinked with Diels⁻Alder (DA) adducts, it was mended and recycled via a retro DA reaction at 120 °C. Interestingly, the CF-reinforced polymer composites were mended and recycled as well. When 5 wt % of the hydrophobic CFs was added to the polymer, maximum tensile strength, elongation at break, Young's modulus, and toughness increased by 70%, 183%, 75%, and 420%, respectively. After recycling, the CF-reinforced composites still featured better mechanical properties than recycled polymer.



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