Mechanical properties of mechanically-defibrated cellulose nanofiber reinforced epoxy resin matrix composites

Hiroki Kurita, Ryugo Ishigami, Chen Wu, Fumio Narita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cellulose nanofibers (CNF) have recently attracted attention as one of the reinforcements for composite materials. However, the same as other nanofibers, CNFs can be easily agglomerated and the nano-level defibration is necessary to obtain their outstanding properties in polymer matrices. To overcome this issue, two major defibration methods, chemical and mechanical defibration have been considered. The chemically-defibrated CNF is expensive and so prevents the practical realization of CNF as general-purpose products. Therefore, the mechanical defibration method by a clean low-cost water jet was focused on. Mechanically-defibrated CNF reinforced epoxy resin matrix (Epoxy-CNF) composites was fabricated via mechanical mixing and evaluated the variation of their tensile and flexural properties with different CNF volume fractions. The tensile and flexural modulus of the epoxy composites were increased by CNF addition, while the fracture elongation was decreased. The calculated ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and ultimate flexural strength (UFS), using the aspect ratio of the agglomerated CNF clusters, indicated the validity of the random dispersion model considering the agglomerated CNF as one whole fiber. It seems that epoxy resin is enhanced by the mechanical interaction when the CNF volume fraction is higher than 0.37 vol.%.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Composite Materials
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • cellulose nanofiber
  • Finite element analysis
  • flexural property
  • polymer matrix composite
  • tensile property

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry

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