In this study, the feasibility of improving the mechanical properties of a high solid content UV-curable acrylic coating system through the addition of cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) was examined. The CNC was rendered hydrophobic by using a cationic surfactant, hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (HDTMA), to make it compatible with the matrix polymer and facilitate proper dispersion. Two different amounts (1 and 3%) of modified CNC were added to the coating system. Tensile strength and modulus of elasticity (MOE) of coating films were affected positively by the addition of CNC. Hardness, measured both by König pendulum and pencil methods, was found to increase as CNC loading increased in the coatings. Mass loss due to abrasion resistance tests was reduced by the addition of CNC. The results of this research showed that CNC is an ideal reinforcing nanoparticle which can positively affect the mechanical performance of coating systems.

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Volume 104, March 2017, Pages 91–96