Authors Mäder, E. ; Gao, S.-L.
Title Prospect of nanoscale interphase evaluation to predict composite properties
Date 19.11.2001
Number 9648
Abstract For meeting the requirements of lightweight and improved mechanical properties, composites could be tailor-made for specific applications if the adhesion strength which plays a key role for improved properties can be predicted. The relationship between wettability and adhesion strength has been discussed. The microstructure of interphases and adhesion strength can be significantly altered by different surface modifications of the reinforcing fibers, since the specific properties of the interphase result from nucleation, thermal and/or intrinsic stresses, sizing used, interdiffusion, and roughness. The experimental results could not confirm a simple and direct correlation between wettability and adhesion strength for different model systems. The main objective of the work was to identify the interphases for different fiber/polymer matrix systems. By using phase imaging and nanoindentation tests based on atomic force microscopy (AFM), a comparative study of the local mechanical property variation in the interphase of glass fiber reinforced epoxy resin (EP) and glass fiber reinforced polypropylene matrix (PP) composites was conducted. As model sizings for PP composites, <I>&#947;</I>-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APS) and either polyurethane (PU) or polypropylene (PP) film former on glass fibers were investigated. The EP-matrix was combined with either unsized glass fibers or glass fibers treated with APS/PU sizing. It was found that phase imaging AFM was a highly useful tool for probing the interphase with much detailed information. Nanoindentation with sufficiently small indentation force was found to be sufficient for measuring actual interphase properties within a 100-nm region close to the fiber surface. Subsequently, it also indicated a different gradient in the modulus across the interphase region due to different sizings. The possibilities of controlling bond strength between fiber s<br />urface and polymer matrix are discussed in terms of elastic moduli of the interphases compared with surface stiffness of sized glass fibers, micromechanical results, and the mechanical properties of real composites.
Publisher Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology
Citation Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology 15 (2001) 1015-1037

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