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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2015, Article ID 413497, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/413497
Research Article

MWCNTs/Cellulose Hydrogels Prepared from NaOH/Urea Aqueous Solution with Improved Mechanical Properties

1Technology Center of China Tobacco Fujian Industrial Co., Ltd., Xiamen 361022, China
2Department of Plastic Surgery, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an 710038, China
3College of Horticulture and Forestry Sciences, Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Biology, Ministry of Education, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China

Received 28 September 2014; Accepted 25 November 2014

Academic Editor: Bishnu P. Joshi

Copyright © 2015 Yingpu Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Novel high strength composite hydrogels were designed and synthesized by introducing multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) into cellulose/NaOH/urea aqueous solution and then cross-linked by epichlorohydrin. MWCNTs were used to modify the matrix of cellulose. The structure and morphology of the hydrogels were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results from swelling testing revealed that the equilibrium swelling ratio of hydrogels decreased with the increment of MWCNTs content. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) results demonstrated that the introduction of MWCNT into cellulose hydrogel networks remarkably improved both thermal and mechanical properties of the composite hydrogels. The preparation of MWCNTs modifiedcellulose-based composites with improved mechanical properties was the first important step towards the development of advanced functional materials.