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Design of natural fiber composites utilizing interfacial crystallinity and affinity

: Koschek, Katharina


Composites. Part A, Applied science and manufacturing 69 (2015), pp.21–29
ISSN: 1359-835X
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IFAM ()
thermosetting resin crystallization; fiber / matrix bond; interface / interphase

Butanediol initiated poly(e-caprolactone) (PCL) has recently been reported as a toughening agent for cationically curing cycloaliphatic epoxides providing plasticized thermosets with excellent properties (Lützen et al., 2013). In this contribution that promising toughening approach was applied for the first time for the development of novel natural fiber composites (NFC). NFCs based on conventional brittle thermosetting polymers often suffer from poor interfacial adhesion and stress cracking. Composites made up of the novel plasticized thermosets and woven flax fiber preserved the elastomer-like properties and increased tensile strength and elongation at break up to 60 MPa and 5%, respectively. Furthermore, PCL was shown not only to toughen the epoxide but also to modulate the affinity of the matrix to the fiber. In conclusion, improved interfacial adhesion and the resulting excellent mechanical properties of cationically curable NFCs were achieved by both interfacial crystallization and affinity.