SITI NORBAYA KASA, MOHD FIRDAUS OMAR, MOHD MUSTAFA AL BAKRI ABDULLAH, ISMARUL NIZAM ISMAIL, SAM SUNG TING, SEBASTIAN CALIN VAC, PETRICA VIZUREANU EFFECT OF UNMODIFIED AND MODIFIED NANOCRYSTALLINE CELLULOSE REINFORCED POLYLACTIC ACID (PLA) POLYMER PREPARED BY SOLVENT CASTING METHOD MORPHOLOGY, MECHANICAL AND THERMAL PROPERTIES The positive attributes of excellent biocompatibility and biodegradability of biocomposites with the addition of versatile nanocellulose from agriculture wastes have provided plenty opportunities for further development of functional biocomposite in various fields. Therefore, solvent casting was selected as a reinforcement method in order to produce biocomposite comprise of nanocrystalline cellulose and PLA polymer. Modification of nanocrystalline cellulose through acetylation reaction was conducted upon reinforcement to reduce its surface polarity and hidrophilicity. Biocomposite films prepared at various unmodified (uNC) and acetylated nanocrytalline cellulose (aNC) loading were exposed to morphological (FESEM), tensile test and thermal analysis (TGA). Reinforcement of aNC shows a better dispersion in PLA polymer due to the decreasing of surface polarity, thus increasing inter-facial interaction between both materials. This is proven by greater performance of biocomposite films in tensile strength, Young’s modulus and thermal stability of aNC reinforced PLA as compared to uNC reinforced PLA. Overall, it can be concluded that these research findings can widen the scope of biocomposites research area and have significant implications for the commercial application of biomass products.
Keywords: acetylated nanocellulose, nanocellulose reinforced PLA, characterization and properties