Modeling of nanocellulose hydrogel coatings on textile substrates and enzymatic modification of nanocellulose coatings for sustainable dyeing
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We have developed nanocellulose based thin films as functional coatings for textile materials. Nanocellulose thin films can incorporate many functionalities such as dye, antimicrobial, flame-retardant and stain-resistant molecules and transfer them to textile surfaces. To develop efficient and robust nanocellulose coatings, we studied multilayer model substrates of nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) and nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) on top of regenerated cellulose, polyester and nylon 66 on silicon wafers to mimic textile surfaces to investigate and improve the adhesion of nanocellulose toward natural and synthetic fibers. The thickness of the films and their surface morphology were studied by ellipsometry, Scanning Electron Microscopy, and Atomic Force Microscopy. The adhesion strength between the NFC and NCC gels and natural, synthetic and blended fabrics were investigated by using a T-Peel strength test. We incorporated dye molecules to the nanocellulose coatings that we developed previously to create a sustainable and environmentally friendly dyeing technology with comparable dyeing performance to conventional dyeing technique. To enhance dyeability of nanocellulose, they were treated with cellulases from Trichoderma reesei and enzymogel nanoparticles. The enzymatic treatments change surface area and crystallinity of the hydrogels by slowly degrading crystalline region and impurities in the primary cell wall and consequently improve dyeability of nanocellulose materials.