Reinforcing natural rubber with cellulose nanofibrils extracted from bleached eucalyptus kraft pulp

Chunmei Zhang, Tianliang Zhai, Ronald Sabo, Craig Clemons, Yi Dan*, Lih Sheng Turng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

19 Scopus citations


Reinforced natural rubber (NR) nanocomposites were prepared by solution mixing, casting, and evaporation of pre-vulcanized natural rubber latex and an aqueous suspension of cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) extracted from bleached eucalyptus kraft pulp. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images showed that there were no micro-scaled aggregates observed in the nanocomposites. The addition of CNFs changed the mechanical behavior of the nanocomposites as observed in tensile tests. The tensile strength was significantly enhanced with CNFs, but the material became brittle at higher CNFs loading levels. Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) proved the strong reinforcing tendency of CNFs in the NR matrix as the storage modulus of the nanocomposites increased with CNFs content across the entire temperature range. Thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) showed that CNFs had a slightly negative impact on the thermal stability of NR nanocomposites. There was no change in the glass transition temperature of the rubber matrix with the addition of cellulose nanofibrils, which was characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-324
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 01 06 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2014 American Scientific Publishers


  • Cellulose nanofibrils
  • Mechanical properties
  • Nanocomposites
  • Natural rubber


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