Mechanics of cellulose nanocrystals and their polymer composites

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


The fabrication of cellulose nanocomposites with ultimate mechanical properties has received tremendous attention during the past decade. However, the published data has not been reviewed and systematically compared from mechanical point of view. The current study aims to fill this gap by providing a critical review on the published data on the mechanics of cellulose nanocrystals and their composites. The studies on individual cellulose nanocrystals show that their strength depends on the number and type of inter and intra hydrogen bonds on the cellulose chains, which are affected by the cellulose type and origin. It has been shown that the tensile modulus, yield strength and creep resistance are higher in cellulose nanocomposites than in unfilled polymers. However, above optimum cellulose content, the agglomeration of nanocrystals degrades the mechanical properties. Furthermore, cellulose nanocrystals enhance the structural stiffness of polymer composites at elevated temperatures. Formation of rigid nanocrystal network causes increase in the storage modulus (E0) and glass transition temperature.

Publication Title

Advanced Structured Materials