Modification of the Semitransparent Prunus serrula Bark Film: Making Rubber out of Bark

Xiaoming Xu, Edward Schneider, Charlotte Zaremba, Galen D. Stucky, Fred Wudl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We report an extensive structural and mechanical characterization of the semitransparent bark of Prunus serrula. Variations in the properties were observed. Mechanical properties along the fiber axis of these films are strongly related to the cell dimensions. Several trends can be seen with increasing cell length: tensile strength and Young's modulus increase; ductility decreases. Perpendicular to the fiber axis, similar radial dimensions of the bark cells contributes to similar mechanical properties. Plasticization not only shrinks the dimension of the bulk films along the tangential axis, which is unique, but also dramatically changes the mechanical properties. We have shown, for the first time, that the mechanical properties of the Prunus serrula bark can be effectively tailored with different plasticization and modification agents. The plastic bark can be successfully converted to rubberlike material either temporally or permanently, or it can be strengthened by tensile deformation of the plasticized bark.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3523-3527
Number of pages5
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1998


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