Cellulosic films are typically sensitive towards moisture which limits their industrial applicability. In this study the films made from cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) were surface silylated with hexamethyldisiloxane (HMDSO) by roll-to-roll plasma deposition. The effects on surface hydrophobicity were clear and indisputable. Water contact angles of non-modified and plasma-deposited CNF films were 23° and 103°, respectively. As a result of surface silylation the relative polarity decreased from 46.8% to 0.6%. Surface hydrophobicity correlated well with the plasma deposition line speeds (0.5, 5, and 10 m/min) and the water vapor barrier properties. Silylation also decreased the oxygen transmission rates both at 50% and 80% relative humidity as compared to non-modified CNF films. All films were completely impermeable to olive oil and intact in contact with castor oil, toluene, and n-heptane or mixtures of them. The developed surface hydrophobization method can be exploited in strengthening the position of cellulosic films in high performance film applications.
- Cellulose nanofibrils
- Plasma deposition