Preparation and properties of polypropylene composites reinforced with wheat and flax straw fibres: Part II Analysis of composite microstructure and mechanical properties
The microstructure and mechanical properties of polypropylene composites containing flax and wheat straw fibres are discussed. Particular emphasis has been given to determining the nature and consequences of fibre damage induced during melt-processing operations, fibre orientation occurring in mouldings, and possible interfacial adhesion between the matrix and fibres. Compared to unfilled polypropylene, addition of flax and wheat straw caused a significant increase in tensile modulus, particularly, in the case of flax fibres, which also gave higher tensile yield strength and Charpy toughness, despite a lack of interfacial bonding. Tensile strength was increased further through inclusion of 5% by weight of maleic anhydride-modified polypropylene, which was shown to promote adhesion between fibres and matrix.
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