Aligning cellulose whiskers can significantly enhance electrical and mechanical properties in polymer composites. Here, we report a method of sonication and stirring to disperse and stabilize CWs in solution. Applying an AC electric field led to good alignment and chain formation of CWs in the direction of the applied field. Alignment and chain formation was found to be function of electric field magnitude, frequency and time. Dielectric constant of the solutions as a function of microstructure was studied. Improvement in dielectric constant with increase in frequency was observed. Future work will focus on processing thin films with individually dispersed CWs, and improving their alignment to further increase the electrical and mechanical properties.
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Electric Field-Manipulation of Cellulose Whisker-Reinforced Polymer Nanocomposites
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Kalidindi, SV, Ounaies, Z, & Kaddami, H. "Electric Field-Manipulation of Cellulose Whisker-Reinforced Polymer Nanocomposites." Proceedings of the ASME 2009 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems. Volume 2: Multifunctional Materials; Enabling Technologies and Integrated System Design; Structural Health Monitoring/NDE; Bio-Inspired Smart Materials and Structures. Oxnard, California, USA. September 21–23, 2009. pp. 149-152. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/SMASIS2009-1472
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