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Elastomeric polyurethanes reinforced with aramid fibers

Authors

  • A. G. Andreopoulos,

    1. Laboratory of Special Chemical Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering, N.T.U. of Athens, 42 Patission Str., 106 82, Greece
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  • A. V. Konstantinidou,

    1. Laboratory of Special Chemical Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering, N.T.U. of Athens, 42 Patission Str., 106 82, Greece
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  • H. J. Petsalas

    1. Laboratory of Special Chemical Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering, N.T.U. of Athens, 42 Patission Str., 106 82, Greece
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Abstract

Thermolplastic polyurethane is a relatively new development in the elastomers field, combining elastomeric behavior with thermoplastic processing characteristics. Thus, high production rate and reduced scrap can be achieved but, increased versatility for the incorporation of additives is also possible. In this work, thermoplastic polyurethane matrices were prepared and Kevlar pulp was dispersed as a reinforcing agent. Since good dispersion and appropriate filler volume fraction are critical factors for a reinforcing effect, special attention was paid to the optimization of these parameters. Thermoplastic polyurethanes were prepared by mixing a low melting polyol with a low melting diisocryanate and the subsequent addition of small amounts of a chain extender, namely, a low molecular weight diol such as 1,4 butanediol. The Kevlar pulp was added under stirring either in the polyol or the diisocyanate melt. This incorporation technique allows the disperision of small fiber percentages. Thus, calendering of the materials prepared was also performed and additional fibers were incorporated. Changes in the properties of properties of the specimens prepared as a function of the filler volume fraction and the dispersion technique were determined, taking into consideration the possibilities of chemical interaction between fibers and matrix.

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