Taweechai Amornsakchai

Hydrogels are jelly-like materials that contain a lot of water, making them soft and fragile. While their stiffness and strength can be enhanced by incorporating additional networks, current methods don’t provide enough mechanical properties for many applications. Various approaches to reinforce hydrogels have been proposed, including the use of cellulose microfibers derived from pineapple leaf. In this study, the effectiveness of these fibers as reinforcement for hydrogels was investigated. The compression test was conducted to evaluate the fiber’s reinforcing capabilities in both single and double networks. Additionally, properties such as the morphology and swelling behavior of the reinforced hydrogels were examined. The results showed a synergistic effect between the fiber and the second network, leading to significant reinforcement. Even with a low fiber loading of just 0.6% by weight, the improvement in mechanical strength reached as high as 150%. This level of improvement surpassed that of some nanofiller systems. Consequently, the pineapple leaf fiber demonstrates potential as an environmentally friendly reinforcement for similar hydrogel systems.

In summary, this research highlights the use of cellulose microfibers from pineapple leaves to strengthen hydrogels. The fiber exhibited impressive reinforcing effects when incorporated into hydrogels, resulting in significantly improved mechanical properties.

Reference: “Synergistic Reinforcement of Cellulose Microfibers from Pineapple Leaf and Ionic Cross-Linking on the Properties of Hydrogels”, Sriraveeroj, N., Amornsakchai, T., Sunintaboon, P., Watthanaphanit, A., ACS Omega. 7(29), 25321–25328 (2022)