The effect of alcaline and hot water surface treatments of piassava Attalea funifera fibers was investigated. The efficiency of each treatment was evaluated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffractometry, optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. The alkaline treatments were effective in removing the superficial lignin layer from the fiber, while the hot water treatment was not. Treatment with hot water and NaOH caused fiber defibrillation. NaOH was most effective in promoting both, a decrease in fiber diameter and an increase in fiber surface area. Treatment with Ca(OH)2 led to the formation of a CaCO3 layer deposited on the fiber, preventing defibrillation. The crystalline structure of the fiber was not altered by any of the treatments, maintaining type I cellulose.
This work aimed to produce graphene oxide with few graphene layers, a low number of defects, good conductivity and reasonable amount of oxygen, adequate for use as filler in polymeric composites. Two starting materials were evaluated: expanded graphite and graphite flakes. The method of oxidation used was the Staudenmaier one, which was tested over different lengths of time. No appreciable differences were found among the oxidation times and so the lowest oxidation time (24 h) was chosen as the most adequate. An investigation was also conducted into suitable temperatures for the reduction of graphite oxide. A temperature of 1000 ºC gave the best results, allowing a good quality material with few defects to be obtained. The reduction was also evaluated under inert and normal atmosphere. The best results were obtained when the least modified material, e. g., graphite flakes, was used as a starting material, oxidized for 24h and reduced at 1000 ºC for 30 s in a quartz ampoule under a normal atmosphere.
Polyethylene/carbon nanotubes, PE/NTC, nanocomposites were synthesized by in situ polymerization for comparison with polyethylene/graphene nanosheets, PE/NG, nanocomposites obtained in the same conditions. The nanocomposites of polyethylene/NTC were obtained with good catalytic activities and were characterized by DSC and TEM. The nanocomposites with NG showed better thermal stability than with NTC, however, no significant differences in dynamic mechanical properties were found. In the electrical conductivity study, PE/NTC nanocomposites reached conductivities of semiconductor materials at lower content of filler than PE/NG nanocomposites.
Nanocompósitos de polietileno/nanotubos de carbono foram sintetizados através da polimerização in situ para serem comparados com nanocompósitos de polietileno/nanolâminas de grafeno, obtidos nas mesmas condições. Os nanocompósitos de polietileno/NTC foram obtidos com boas atividades catalíticas e foram caracterizados por DSC e MET. Os nanocompósitos com NG apresentaram melhor estabilidade térmica que os de NTC, porem não houve diferenças significativas nas propriedades dinâmico-mecânicas. No estudo da condutividade elétrica os nanocompósitos PE/NTC atingiram condutividades de materiais semicondutores com menor teor de nanocarga que os de PE/NG.