Stress transfer and matrix-cohesive fracture mechanism in microfibrillated cellulose-gelatin nanocomposite films

Franck Quero*, Cristina Padilla, Vanessa Campos, Jorge Luengo, Leonardo Caballero, Francisco Melo, Qiang Li, Stephen J. Eichhorn, Javier Enrione

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) obtained from eucalyptus was embedded in gelatin from two sources; namely bovine and salmon gelatin. Raman spectroscopy revealed that stress is transferred more efficiently from bovine gelatin to the MFC when compared to salmon gelatin. Young's modulus, tensile strength, strain at failure and work of fracture of the nanocomposite films were improved by ∼67, 131, 43 y 243% respectively when using salmon gelatin as matrix material instead of bovine gelatin. Imaging of the tensile fracture surface of the MFC-gelatin nanocomposites revealed that crack formation occurs predominantly within bovine and salmon gelatin matrices rather than within the MFC or at the MFC/gelatin interface. This suggests that the mechanical failure mechanism in these nanocomposite materials is predominantly governed by a matrix-cohesive fracture mechanism. Both strength and flexibility are desirable properties for composite coatings made from gelatin-based materials, and so the findings of this study could assist in their utilization in the food and pharmaceutical industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-98
Number of pages10
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
F.Q. and J.E. acknowledge financial support from CONICYT/FONDECYT (Nos. 3140036 , 1171553 ) and CONICYT/PCI Newton-Picarte (No. 140144 ). Appendix A

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Fracture mechanism
  • Gelatin
  • Interface
  • Microfibrillated cellulose
  • Nanocomposite
  • Stress transfer


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