Why Optimizing the Interface between Matrix and Fibers
Polymer composites are playing an increasing role in a wide variety of applications. In particular, thermoplastic composites are under increased scrutiny. They are easier to recycle & reuse compared to thermosetting matrix composites.
Uses for thermoplastic composites
are currently being envisioned for the automotive industry. In the automotive industry, for example, they have to offer a unique combination of::
- high thermal and oxidative stability,
- solvent resistance.
Yet thermoplastic composite materials often suffer from a lack of fiber-matrix adhesion. This low stiffness and strength but a high resistance to fracture. Optimizing the matrix / fibers interface enables to achieve high strength and stiffness but generally low fracture resistance. Other properties of composites, affected by interface characteristics include resistance to:
- environmental degradation and
- heat deflection temperature
This is remedied using fiber surface modification. Usual surface treatments for epoxy-based thermoset composites do not work well for use in thermoplastic composites.