The project is concerned with mechanical performance and durability of thermoplastic based composites under adverse and aggressive environments.
Injection moulded glass reinforced polypropylene is a most promising candidate for mass produced composite items. However, the properties of such materials depend intimately on the efficiency of the adhesion between the fibres and the matrix. The 2 types of components are not mutually attractive so that bonding has to be achieved through the interphase around the fibres. The matrix can be made to adhere to the glass by its modification with functional groups which bond to both the macromolecular structure of the matrix and to the glass. A novel reactive processing technique has been investigated in this study involving the use of a new multifunctional modifier which is grafted to the backbone of the polypropylene. The grafting of the new modifier has been shown to be much more efficient than those which are available commercially. Reactive processing using a twin screw extruder has been shown to be superior and more adaptable than single screw processes and can result in less damage to the fibres. The new process produces a matrix material which resists oxidation better than existing materials and allows composites to be produced which possess both superior mechanical proerties and resistance to aging.
This project is concerned with mechanical performance and durability of thermoplastic-based composites under adverse and aggressive environments. The mechanical strength and dimensional stability of polymer composites are critically dependent on the nature of the fibre-matrix interface and its effectiveness in transferring shear stresses created in the matrix around the fibre ends. Modification of the polymer matrix with novel reactively processed modifiers provides a unique starting point for achieving effective fibre-matrix adhesion and enhanced composite performance.