Clay nanopaper are nanocomposites with nacre-like structure and multifunctional characteristics including high modulus, significant strength and toughness as well as fire retardancy and low oxygen transmission rate (OTR). Montmorrilonite (MTM) and nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) hydrocolloids are combined with a chitosan (CS) solution to form high MTM content nanopaper structures by the use of a previously developed papermaking approach. Chitosan functions as flocculation agent and decreases dewatering time to less than 10% compared with MTM–NFC clay nanopaper. The effect of chitosan on the clay nanopaper structure was studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Properties were measured by uniaxial tensile testing, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), OTR and moisture adsorption experiments. A nacre-like multilayered structure was confirmed and the chitosan–clay nanopaper showed favorable mechanical properties at clay contents as high as 44–48wt%.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.