Solution casting of cellulose acetate films: influence of surface substrate and humidity on wettability, morphology and optical properties

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Variations on the processing conditions of conventional methods for polymeric film preparation may allow tuning certain properties. In this work, different casting surfaces and humidity are presented as variables to consider for cellulose acetate (CA) film preparation using conventional solution casting method. Specifically, borosilicate glass, soda-lime glass and Teflon (PTFE) dishes have been used for casting and their influence on various properties on CA films assessed. The surfaces of glass dishes are smooth, while PTFE surface has a pattern constituted by concentric channels of micro dimensions (as seen by optical microscope), which is adopted by cast films upon drying. The resulting patterned films are translucent while films produced using smooth surfaces are transparent. The effect of the environment humidity (35%, 55% and 75% RH) in the properties of the CA films during the evaporation of solvent from solution has been evaluated. Higher humidity produces smoother surfaces and increased crystallinity as shown by XRD and DSC; however, the wettability of the films does not seem to be influenced by this variable. Due to the specific morphology of the patterned films, changes in material opacity upon wetting are detected, from translucent to transparent, while the removal of water from the surface restores the translucency. This micropatterning effect that causes different visual appearance of the material can find use as a humidity sensor in food packaging applications.
Films, Morphology, Crystallinity, Micropatterning, Cellulose acetate, Solution casting
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Kramar, A., Ortega, I. R., González‐Gaitano, G., & González‐Benito, J. (2023). Solution casting of cellulose acetate films: Influence of surface substrate and humidity on wettability, morphology and optical properties. Cellulose, 30(4), 2037-2052.