Applied Surface Science, Vol.442, 537-546, 2018
Preparation and demonstration of poly(dopamine)-triggered attapulgite-anchored polyurethane as a high-performance rod-like elastomer to reinforce soy protein-isolated composites
Nanophase modification is an effective path to improve composite properties, however, it remains a great challenge to increase the mechanical strength of the modified materials without sacrificing elongation and toughness. This study presents a novel and efficient design for interface anchoring of a waterborne polyurethane (WPU) elastomer with attapulgite (ATP) triggered by poly(dopamine) (PDA) formation due to self-polymerization of the dopamine moieties. The WPU-PDA-ATP (WDA) rod-like elastomer served as an active enhancer for a soy protein isolate (SPI)-based composite to facilitate multiple interactions between SPI and the elastomer. As expected, the PDA layer was coated onto ATP, inducing the nanofiller to successfully anchor onto the WPU elastomer, as confirmed by solid-state C-13 NMR, XPS, and ATR-FTIR results. Compared with the control SPI-based film, the tensile strength and toughness increased by 145.6% and 118.3% respectively by introducing WDA rod-like elastomer. The water resistance and thermal stability of the prepared SPI composites were also favorable. The proposed approach represents an efficient way to utilize high-performance elastomer in biobased materials to concurrently enhance strength and toughness. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.