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Bioinspired Engineering towards Tailoring Advanced Lignin/Rubber Elastomers

The pursuit of high volume and high value-added applications for lignin has been a long-term challenge. In this work, inspired by the energy sacrificial mechanism from biological materials, we developed high-performance lignin/carbon black (CB)/nitrile rubber (NBR) elastomers by constructing a dual-crosslinking network consisting of sulfur covalent bonds and dynamic coordination sacrificial bonds. Lignin was not only used for the substitution of half mass of CB in the NBR elastomer but also served as natural ligands for the Zn-based coordination bonds, providing a significant synergistic coordination enhancement effect. The mechanical performance of the elastomers can be easily manipulated by adjusting the proportion of non-permanent coordination bonds and permanent covalent bonds. Lignin/CB/NBR elastomers with a higher strength and modulus than CB-filled elastomers were obtained while maintaining excellent elasticity. The thermal stability and the high-temperature oil resistance of NBR elastomers were also improved by incorporation of lignin and metal coordination bonds. Overall, this work inspires a new solution for the design of high-performance lignin/rubber elastomers with a high lignin loading content.

» Author: Haixu Wang

» Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym10091033

» Publication Date: 18/09/2018

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This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [605658].

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