• 1 Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products (INTROP), Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM Serdang, Selangor 43400, Malaysia
  • 2 Department of Bioprocess Technology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM Serdang, Selangor 43400, Malaysia
  • 3 Department of Biological Functions and Engineering, Graduate School of Life Science and Systems Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, 2-4 Hibikino, Wakamatsu-ku, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka 808-0196, Japan
  • 4 Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, 1-1 Sensui-cho, Tobata-ku, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka 804-8550, Japan
  • 5 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM Serdang, Selangor 43400, Malaysia
Polymers (Basel), 2021 Jan 27;13(3).
PMID: 33513876 DOI: 10.3390/polym13030404


The major hurdle in melt-processing of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) nanocomposite lies on the high melt viscosity of the UHMWPE, which may contribute to poor dispersion and distribution of the nanofiller. In this study, UHMWPE/cellulose nanofiber (UHMWPE/CNF) bionanocomposites were prepared by two different blending methods: (i) melt blending at 150 °C in a triple screw kneading extruder, and (ii) non-melt blending by ethanol mixing at room temperature. Results showed that melt-processing of UHMWPE without CNF (MB-UHMWPE/0) exhibited an increment in yield strength and Young's modulus by 15% and 25%, respectively, compared to the Neat-UHMWPE. Tensile strength was however reduced by almost half. Ethanol mixed sample without CNF (EM-UHMWPE/0) on the other hand showed slight decrement in all mechanical properties tested. At 0.5% CNF inclusion, the mechanical properties of melt-blended bionanocomposites (MB-UHMWPE/0.5) were improved as compared to Neat-UHMWPE. It was also found that the yield strength, elongation at break, Young's modulus, toughness and crystallinity of MB-UHMWPE/0.5 were higher by 28%, 61%, 47%, 45% and 11%, respectively, as compared to the ethanol mixing sample (EM-UHMWPE/0.5). Despite the reduction in tensile strength of MB-UHMWPE/0.5, the value i.e., 28.4 ± 1.0 MPa surpassed the minimum requirement of standard specification for fabricated UHMWPE in surgical implant application. Overall, melt-blending processing is more suitable for the preparation of UHMWPE/CNF bionanocomposites as exhibited by their characteristics presented herein. A better mechanical interlocking between UHMWPE and CNF at high temperature mixing with kneading was evident through FE-SEM observation, explains the higher mechanical properties of MB-UHMWPE/0.5 as compared to EM-UHMWPE/0.5.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Similar publications