Two high-performance bacterial cellulose (BC) nanofiber-based hybrid structures were produced using an in situ self-assembly approach, one with microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) and another with sisal fiber, by incorporating them in the fermentation media. The fabricated BC-MFC hybrid and BC-sisal hybrid fibers showed enhanced mechanical properties compared to pure BC and sisal fibers, respectively. Tensile tests indicated BC-MFC hybrid and their nanocomposites fabricated with soy protein isolate (SPI) resin had better tensile properties than corresponding BC and BC-SPI nanocomposites. This was because of the uniform distribution of MFC within the BC nanofiber network structure which reduced the defects such as pores and voids or intersections of the BC nanofibers. BC-sisal hybrid fibrous structures were obtained after BC nanofibers self-assembled on the surface of the sisal fibers during the fermentation. The results of the microbond tests indicated that the BC-sisal hybrid fiber/SPI resin bond strength was higher than the control sisal fiber/SPI resin bond with p value of 0.02 at the significance level of 0.05. Higher bond strength is preferred since it can potentially lead to better tensile properties of the composites. The presented work suggests a novel route to fabricate hybrid nanocomposites with higher functional properties.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was partly funded by the National Textile Center (NTC) and the Wallace Foundation. The authors would like to thank Dan Luo, John March and Antje Baeumner of Cornell University for allowing the use of their laboratory facilities. The authors also thank the Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR) facilities supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) (award no. DMR-1120296).
- Bacterial cellulose
- In situ self-assembly approach
- Bacterial cellulose-microfibrillated cellulose hybrid
- Bacterial cellulose-sisal hybrid
- Green composites
- Microbond test