Advanced Materials, 2017, vol 29, 35, pp. 1702498
With their impressive properties such as remarkable unit tensile strength, modulus, and resistance to heat, flame, and chemical agents that normally degrade conventional macrofibers, high-performance macrofibers are now widely used in various fields including aerospace, biomedical, civil engineering, construction, protective apparel, geotextile, and electronic areas. Those macrofibers with a diameter of tens to hundreds of micrometers are typically derived from polymers, gel spun fibers, modified carbon fibers, carbon-nanotube fibers, ceramic fibers, and synthetic vitreous fibers. Cellulose nanofibers are promising building blocks for future high-performance biomaterials and textiles due to their high ultimate strength and stiffness resulting from a highly ordered orientation along the fiber axis. For the first time, an effective fabrication method is successfully applied for high-performance macrofibers involving a wet-drawing and wet-twisting process of ultralong bacterial cellulose nanofibers. The resulting bacterial cellulose macrofibers yield record high tensile strength (826 MPa) and Young’s modulus (65.7 GPa) owing to the large length and the alignment of nanofibers along fiber axis. When normalized by weight, the specific tensile strength of the macrofiber is as high as 598 MPa g−1 cm3, which is even substantially stronger than the novel lightweight steel (227 MPa g−1 cm3).