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Plastic to elastic: fungi-derived composite nanopapers with tunable tensile properties

Wan Nawawi, Wan Mohd Fazli and P. Jones, Mitchell and Kontturi, Eero and Mautner, Andreas and Bismarck, Alexander (2020) Plastic to elastic: fungi-derived composite nanopapers with tunable tensile properties. Composites Science and Technology, 198. ISSN 02663538

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Abstract

Fungal chitin is attracting commercial and academic interest as a cheap, renewable, easily isolated and abundant alternative to crustacean chitin. Being covalently decorated with β-glucan, fungal chitin exhibits a native nanocomposite architecture that varies in fibre diameter and chitin to β-glucan ratio from species to species, resulting in mechanical properties ranging from brittle, high tensile strength, plastic-like properties to very tough and elastomeric rubber-like tensile properties if processed into paper form. This study utilised a mild alkaline process to extract chitin-β-glucan complexes from tree bracket fungi (D. confragosa) and common mushrooms (A. bisporus), which were then combined in varying ratios and hot pressed to form engineered composite nanopapers with tunable tensile properties. Fruiting bodies of common mushrooms, with almost proportional contents of chitin and β-glucan, exhibited a nanofibrous architecture resulting in very high tensile strengths, far outperforming crustacean-derived chitin. These nanopapers could then be plasticised in a controlled fashion through addition of extract from tree bracket fungi, which contains large quantities of β-glucan, to produce composite nanopapers. The fungal chitin extracts were significantly more hydrophobic than crustacean chitin, suggesting potential as a coating agent for hydrophilic materials, such as cellulose. These remarkable and controllable characteristics make fungi-derived materials versatile for a wide range of applications, including coatings, membranes, packaging and paper

Item Type: Article (Journal)
Uncontrolled Keywords: A. FibresA. Hybrid compositesB. Mechanical propertiesFungal chitin-β-glucan
Subjects: T Technology > TP Chemical technology > TP1080 Polymers, plastics and their manufacture
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Engineering > Department of Biotechnology Engineering
Depositing User: Mrs Suhani Saarani
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2021 18:12
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2021 18:12
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/88118

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