Preparation and characterization of transparent PMMA-cellulose-based nanocomposites

Carbohydr Polym. 2015;127:381-9. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2015.03.029. Epub 2015 Mar 21.


Nanocomposites of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and cellulose were made by a solution casting method using acetone as the solvent. The nanofiber networks were prepared using three different types of cellulose nanofibers: (i) nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC), (ii) cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) and (iii) bacterial cellulose from nata de coca (NDC). The loading of cellulose nanofibrils in the PMMA varied between 0.25 and 0.5 wt%. The mechanical properties of the composites were evaluated using a dynamic mechanical thermal analyzer (DMTA). The flexural modulus of the nanocomposites reinforced with NDC at the 0.5 wt% loading level increased 23% compared to that of pure PMMA. The NFC composite also exhibited a slightly increased flexural strength around 60 MPa while PMMA had a flexural strength of 57 MPa. The addition of NDC increased the storage modulus (11%) compared to neat PMMA at room temperature while the storage modulus of PPMA/CNC nanocomposite containing 0.25 and 0.5 wt% cellulose increased about 46% and 260% to that of the pure PMMA at the glass transition temperature, respectively. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) indicated that there was no significant change in thermal stability of the composites. The UV-vis transmittance of the CNF nanocomposites decreased by 9% and 27% with the addition of 0.25 wt% CNC and NDC, respectively. This work is intended to spur research and development activity for application of CNF reinforced PMMA nanocomposites in applications such as: packaging, flexible screens, optically transparent films and light-weight transparent materials for ballistic protection.

Keywords: Nanocellulose; Nanocomposites; PMMA; Thermal analysis; Transparency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetobacter / chemistry
  • Acetobacter / metabolism
  • Acetone / chemistry
  • Cellulose / biosynthesis
  • Cellulose / chemistry*
  • Nanocomposites / chemistry*
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate / chemistry*
  • Solvents / chemistry


  • Solvents
  • Acetone
  • Cellulose
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate