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Molecular Dynamics Study on Transmission Mechanism of Torsional Deformation in Cellulose Nanofibers with Hierarchical Structure

Kentaro Takada, Ken-Ichi Saitoh, Tomohiro Sato, Masanori Takuma, Yoshimasa Takahashi
Soft Nanoscience Letters , Volume 9, pp 45-57; doi:10.4236/snl.2019.94004

Abstract: Cellulose nanofiber (CNF) is a fibrous and nano-sized substance produced by decomposition of bulk-type cellulose which is a main component of plants. It has high strength comparable to steel, and it shows low environmental load during a cycle of production and disposal. Besides it has many excellent properties and functions such as high rigidity, light-weight, flexibility and shape memory effect, so it is expected as a next-generation new material. Usually it is composed of many cellulose micro fibrils (CMFs) in which molecular chains of cellulose are aggregated in a crystal structure, the knowledge of mechanical properties for each CMF unit is important. Since actual fibrils are complicatedly intertwined, it is also crucial to elucidate the transmission mechanism of force and deformation not only in one fibril but also in between fibrils. How the dynamic and hierarchical structure composed of CMFs responds to bending or torsion is an interesting issue. However, little is known on torsional characteristics (shear modulus, torsional rigidity, etc.) concerning CMF. In general, in a wire-like structure, it is difficult to enhance torsional rigidity and strength, compared with tensile ones. Therefore, in this study, we try to build a hierarchical model of CNF by multiplying CMF fibers and to conduct molecular dynamics simulation for torsional deformation, by using hybrid model between all-atom and united-atoms model. First, shear modulus was estimated for one CMF fibril and it showed a value close to the experimental values. Also, we assume a state in which two CMFs are ideally arranged in parallel, and create a hierarchical structure. We evaluate the dependence on the temperature for the bond strength and toughness in the hierarchical structures. Furthermore, we mentioned the transmission mechanism between components of a hierarchical structure.
Keywords: model / cellulose / molecular dynamics / functions / hierarchical structure / CNF / Torsional Deformation

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