This study aimed to quantify the influence of clays and partially oxidised cellulose nanofibrils (OCNF) on gelation as well as characterise their physical and chemical interactions. Mixtures of Laponite and montmorillonite clays with OCNF form shear-thinning gels that are more viscous across the entire shear range than OCNF on its own. Viscosity and other rheological properties can be fine-tuned using different types of clay at different concentrations (0.5-2 wt%). Laponite particles are an order of magnitude smaller than those of montmorillonite (radii of 150 Å compared to 2000 Å) and are therefore able to facilitate networking of the cellulose fibrils, resulting in stronger effects on rheological properties including greater viscosity. This work presents a mechanism for modifying rheological properties using renewable and environmentally-friendly nanocellulose and clays which could be used in a variety of industrial products including home and personal care formulations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas