Stronger than bone, stronger than aluminum.  New plant compound

One wall of the wooden cell was built cellulose fibers The most common polymer found in nature. Inside each fiber lies Cellulose nanocrystals (CNC)They are chains of organic polymers arranged in near-perfect crystalline patterns. CNC machines are stronger and stiffer than Kevlar.

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a compound made primarily of cellulose nanocrystals mixed with a synthetic polymer. Research indicates that organic crystals It occupies 60-90 percent. all materials It is the largest CNC part achieved in any composite.

Interestingly, the CNC-based composite can be produced in a classic style and With the help of 3D printing technology. The compound is harder than many types of bone and also stronger than aluminum.

By creating composites with CNC under a high load, we can give mechanical properties to polymer-based materials that they did not have before. If we could replace some petroleum-based plastics with cellulose from natural sources, it could potentially be better for our planet as well, the professor said. a. John Hart of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In recent years, scientists have been studying the possibilities of isolation Cellulose nanocrystals from cellulose fibers by a process called acid hydrolysis. Ultra-durable crystals can be used as a natural reinforcement in polymer-based materials. Until now, however, scientists have only been able to use small CNC parts, as crystals tend to clump and bond poorly to polymer molecules.

Hart’s Team Evolution Compound with high CNC contentIt can be formed into permanent shapes. Microscopy showed that the cellulose grains formed a brick pattern similar to the architecture mother of pearl.

MIT researchers tested the material’s fracture toughness and concluded that The complex arrangement of the cellulose grains prevents cracks. This resistance to deformation gives the plastic a complex hardness and stiffness at the interface between conventional plastics and metals.

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