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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 963436, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/963436
Research Article

The Preparation of a Highly Stretchable Cellulose Nanowhisker Nanocomposite Hydrogel

1MOE Engineering Research Center of Forestry Biomass Materials and Bioenergy, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
2Beijing Shoufa Tianren Ecological Landscape Co., Ltd., Beijing 102600, China

Received 30 October 2014; Revised 12 January 2015; Accepted 21 January 2015

Academic Editor: Ning Lin

Copyright © 2015 Jiufang Duan 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

Molecules that associate to form cross-links by hydrophobic association are designed and synthesised. Hydrogels, based on cellulose nanowhiskers (CNWs), acrylamide (AM), and stearyl methacrylate (C18), were synthesised by micellar copolymerisation, using ammonium peroxydisulfate as an initiator. CNWs composite hydrogels were characterised by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and their morphologies were investigated by scanning electron microscope (SEM). The system shows the original extensibility up to about 2500%: the tensile strength and compressive strength have maximum values of 1.338 MPa and 2.835 MPa, respectively. Besides excellent mechanical properties, CNWs composite hydrogels also have the ability to self-heal and remould: this is mainly attributed to the dissociation and reassociation of the associated micelles. In contrast to conventional cellulose hydrogels, these systems, when broken or cut, can be simply repaired by bringing together fractured surfaces to self-heal at room temperature.