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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2014, Article ID 903498, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/903498
Research Article

Mechanical, Thermal, and Morphological Properties of Nanocomposites Based on Polyvinyl Alcohol and Cellulose Nanofiber from Aloe vera Rind

1Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing, Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto, 33 Willcocks Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3B3
2Centre of Advanced Chemistry, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
3Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80203, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia

Received 14 July 2014; Revised 3 September 2014; Accepted 4 September 2014; Published 14 September 2014

Academic Editor: Zhenhui Kang

Copyright © 2014 Adel Ramezani Kakroodi 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

This work was devoted to reinforcement of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) using cellulose nanofibers from Aloe vera rind. Nanofibers were isolated from Aloe vera rind in the form of an aqueous suspension using chemimechanical technique. Mechanical characterizations showed that incorporation of even small amounts of nanofibers (as low as 2% by weight) had significant effects on both the modulus and strength of PVA. Tensile modulus and strength of PVA increased, 32 and 63%, respectively, after adding 2% of cellulose nanofiber from Aloe vera rind. Samples with higher concentrations of nanofibers also showed improved mechanical properties due to a high level of interfacial adhesion and also dispersion of fibers. The results showed that inclusion of nanofibers decreased deformability of PVA significantly. Dynamic mechanical analysis revealed that, at elevated temperatures, improvement of mechanical properties due to the presence of nanofibers was even more noticeable. Addition of nanofibers resulted in increased thermal stability of PVA in thermogravimetric analysis due to the reduction in mobility of matrix molecules. Morphological observations showed no signs of agglomeration of fibers even in composites with high cellulose nanofiber contents. Inclusion of nanofibers was shown to increase the density of composites.