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Rheological properties of molten flax- and Tencel®-polypropylene composites: Influence of fiber morphology and concentration

Abstract : The rheological properties of short fiber reinforced polypropylene were investigated. Flax and Tencel® are two cellulose based fibers used in this study. Flax fibers are extracted from the bast of plants. They are composed of thin elementary fibers and rigid thick bundles made of elementary fibers “glued” together. Tencel® is a man-made cellulosic fiber spun from cellulose solution, with a uniform diameter, thin, and flexible. First, fiber dimensions before and after compounding were analyzed. Both types of fibers were broken during compounding. Flax shows larger length and diameter than Tencel®, but aspect ratio of flax is smaller. The reason is that after compounding flax remained in bundles. Dynamic viscosity, elastic and viscousmoduli were studied as a function of fiber type, concentration (from 0 to 30 wt. %), and composite temperature (from 180 to 200 °C). All Tencel®-based composites showed higher apparent yield stress,viscosity, and moduli compared to flax-based composites at the same fiber concentrations. The results are analyzed in terms of the influence of fiber type, aspect ratio, and flexibility. The importance of considering fiber morphology is demonstrated as far as it controls fiber flexibility and fiber-fiber interactions.
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Ahmed Abdennadher, Michel Vincent, Tatiana Budtova. Rheological properties of molten flax- and Tencel®-polypropylene composites: Influence of fiber morphology and concentration. Journal of Rheology, American Institute of Physics, 2016, 60 (1), pp.191-201. ⟨10.1122/1.4938224⟩. ⟨hal-01263799⟩

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