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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOP, ENHANCE AND TRANSFER GIN TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE FIBER QUALITY AND PROFITS

Location: Cotton Ginning Laboratory(Stoneville, MS)

Title: Development and Characterization of Cellulose/clay Nanocomposites

Authors
item Delhom, Christopher
item White, Leslie - FORMER USDA/ARS
item Pang, S. -

Submitted to: Composites Part B Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 16, 2009
Publication Date: July 19, 2010
Citation: DDelhom, C.D., White-Ghoorahoo, L.A., Pang, S.S. 2010. Development and characterization of cellulose/clay nanocomposites. Composites: Part B. 41:475-481.

Interpretive Summary: Cotton is the most important textile fiber for apparel use and is preferred to synthetic fibers for reasons such as comfort and feel. The inherent flammability of cellulosic fibers, such as cotton, is a major drawback. Cellulosic fibers have required chemically intensive and costly finishes to be applied to textiles in order to reduce the flammability risks and compete with synthetic fibers in certain applications. The cost of the finish is a detriment to using cellulosic fibers in the applications, as is the fact that most flame retardant finishes are not particularly durable and cause a reduction in the strength of the finished product. The development of cellulose/clay nanocomposites for use as flame retardant materials based on cotton is reported in this paper. Novel nanocomposite materials have been produced from cellulose with layered silicate clays used as the nanofiller material. The nanocomposites show significant improvements in thermal properties when compared with cellulose control sources. Tensile testing revealed an increase of approximately 80% in the ultimate stress of the cellulose/clay nanocomposites. The flame retardant materials produced via this work offer a low cost, environmentally friendly, and durable alternative to traditional flame retardant materials and finishes. The methods developed allow for the utilization of cotton fiber or other sources of cellulose to be utilized as a feed stock in the production of novel materials. The work reported in this paper allow for the cotton, and other cellulosic fibers, to better compete with synthetic fibers and gain access to new markets. The cellulose feed stock can be comprised of low grade cellulose material such as gin waste, short fibers, or motes resulting in significant value being added to agricultural by-products.

Technical Abstract: Cotton is the most important textile fiber for apparel use and is preferred to synthetic fibers for reasons such as comfort and feel. A major drawback of cellulosic fibers is flammability. The development of cellulose/clay nanocomposites for use as flame retardant materials based on cotton is reported in this paper. Novel nanocomposite materials have been produced from cellulose with layered silicate clays used as the nanofiller material. Three different methods were attempted in producing these organic-inorganic hybrids. The nanocomposites show significant improvements in thermal properties when compared with cellulose control sources. The degradation temperature of the nanocomposites increased by 45°C and the char yields for some compositions doubled those of the controls. The crystalline melt of the materials decreased by 15°C. Tensile testing revealed an increase of approximately 80% in the ultimate stress of the cellulose/clay nanocomposites. The flame retardant materials produced via this work offer a low cost, environmentally friendly, and durable alternative to traditional flame retardant materials and finishes. The methods developed allow for the utilization of cotton fiber or other sources of cellulose to be utilized as a feed stock in the production of novel materials.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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