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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 908689, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/908689
Research Article

Effects of Two Different Cellulose Nanofiber Types on Properties of Poly(vinyl alcohol) Composite Films

1Nanotec-KMUTT Center of Excellence on Hybrid Nanomaterials for Alternative Energy, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), Thonburi, Bangkok 10140, Thailand
2School of Energy, Environment and Materials, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), Bangkok 1014, Thailand
3Learning Institute, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), Bangkok 10140, Thailand

Received 2 December 2014; Revised 27 January 2015; Accepted 28 January 2015

Academic Editor: Alain Dufresne

Copyright © 2015 Kitti Yuwawech 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 concerns a study on the effects of fiber types and content of cellulose nanofiber on mechanical, thermal, and optical properties polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) composites. Two different types of cellulose nanofibers, which are nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) and bacterial cellulose (BC), were prepared under various mechanical treatment times and then incorporated into the PVA prior to the fabrication of composite films. It was found that tensile modulus of the PVA film increased with nanofibers content at the expense of its percentage elongation value. DSC thermograms indicate that percentage crystallinity of PVA increased after adding 2–4 wt% of the fibers. This contributed to the better mechanical properties of the composites. Tensile toughness values of the PVA/BC nanocomposite films were also superior to those of the PVA/NFC system containing the same fiber loading. SEM images of the composite films reveal that tensile fractured surface of PVA/BC experienced more ductile deformation than the PVA/NFC analogue. The above discrepancies were discussed in the light of differences between the two types of fibers in terms of diameter and their intrinsic properties. Lastly, percentage total visible light transmittance values of the PVA composite films were greater than 90%, regardless of the fiber type and content.