Mechanical properties of cellulose nanofibril-filled polypropylene composites

Han Seung Yang, Douglas J. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Cellulose nanofiber (CNF), microfibrillated cellulose (MFC), and microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) filled-polypropylene (PP) composite samples were manufactured using a melt mixing technique. Mechanical testing was conducted to investigate tensile and flexural properties of the composites at different filler loading levels. Test results showed that in the case of cellulose nanofibril fillers, the composites sustained considerable tensile strength up to 10% (w/w) filler loading whereas the tensile strength of the MCC-filled composites decreased continuously. Moreover, tensile modulus increased as filler loading increased for all cellulose fillers. CNF and MCC-filled composites demonstrate plastic deformation and longer elongation at break than MFC-filled composites while MFC-filled composites exhibited a quasi-brittle behavior under tensile deformation. Flexural strength of cellulose nanofibril-filled composites decreased slightly as a function of filler loading up to 6% (w/w) and increased beyond 6% (w/w). The 10% (w/w) cellulose nanofibril-filled composite samples exhibited sustained flexural strength as compared with neat PP. The trend of increased flexural modulus of elasticity behavior was identical to the tensile modulus of elasticity behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-152
Number of pages10
JournalWood and Fiber Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


  • Cellulose nanofiber
  • Flexural strength.
  • Microcrystalline cellulose
  • Microfibrillated cellulose
  • Plastic deformation
  • Tensile strength


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