In this article, we introduce for the first time, a method to manufacture cellulose based electrically conductive non-woven three-dimensional (3D) structures using the foam forming technology. The manufacturing is carried out using a minimum amount of processing steps, materials, and hazardous chemicals. The optimized solution applies a single surfactant type and a single predefined portion for the two main processing steps: (1) the dispersing of nanocellulose (NC) and carbon nanotubes (CNT) and (2) the foam forming process. The final material system has a concentration of the used surfactant that is not only sufficient to form a stable and homogeneous nanoparticle dispersion, but it also results in stable foam in foam forming. In this way, the advantages of the foam forming process can be maximized for this application. The cellulose based composite material has a highly even distribution of CNTs over the NC network, resulting a conductivity level of 7.7 S/m, which increased to the value 8.0 S/m after surfactant removal by acetone washing. Also, the applicability and a design product case 'Salmiakki' were studied where the advantages of the material system were validated for a heating element application.
- Carbon nanotube
- Foam forming