Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Micromechanical mechanisms in short natural fibre composites

The adhesion between pulp fibres and biopolymer matrix is important in order to produce a strong composite, but the interfacial adhesion between fibres and matrix, ISS is only one of the mechanisms effecting strength. The result from tensile strength measurements (which is often used as an indirect measurmement of ISS) has to be interpreted in terms of micromechanics including the morpohology of the fibres such as length and diameter distribution and orientation of the fibres.

Several existing methods for quantification of ISS during this project have been tested. Many methods have not worked due to the limited length of the fibres and due to the large strength difference between fibres and matrix.

Image analysis has been used to assess the orientation of fibres in the biocomposites. Knowing the orientation strengthens the interpretation of the tensile test results. In addition to the orientation, the presence of agglomerates affects the tensile test. Therefore, this method was further developed into a quality control tool. These methods have been further developed and used.

The method does not only give information about the ISS but also about the mechanical properties of the fibre and about the orientation of fibres. Instead of manual measurements of orientation and length distribution, development of software image analysis tools could result in a very efficient analysis tool. Completing this method in a successful way would result in a good analysis tool for natural fibre composites, which requires only small material quantities.

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