There is a drive towards the use of single-component materials in different applications, for example in opening and closure of packaging products and in single use plastics (SUP). This opens up the possible use of cellulose-based products, but increases the demand for new modification strategies for fibres. Modifications aiming at improving their processability and final properties, including mechanical performance and resistance to water. The modifications should preferably allow for processing in conventional melt processing technologies such as:
ii. Injection moulding
iii. Compression moulding
In this project the idea is to use water and/or temperature to soften the fibrous material and to improve the rheological behaviour of the material, thereby broadening the processability window of the fibres. To achieve these goals, it will be necessary to modify the fibres both for the processing and for a possible post-curing for decreasing water sensitivity.
The main idea is based on earlier results showing that it is possible to dramatically alter the property space of cellulose-rich fibres by changing the supramolecular ordering of the cellulose combined with an introduction of reactive moieties on the cellulose (Larsson and Wågberg, Green Chemistry, 2016, 18, 3324–3333). This type of modifications has also demonstrated that the modified fibres can even be used in extrusion and injection moulding processes (PCT/SE 2018/050039). The intention is to use these findings as a base for further modifications, thereby allowing for even better performance of the modified fibres.