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Keywords:

  • composites;
  • fibers;
  • micro-cracks;
  • polyethylene;
  • X-ray tomography

Abstract

X-ray micro-computed tomography (μCT) is used to generate 3D- and 2D-imaging reconstruction of the meso-structure of high-density polyethylene (HDPE)/short hemp fibre composites subjected to in situ tensile testing. These composites exhibit marked fibre/matrix debonding mechanisms starting at low strain level that are carefully analysed. In particular, debonding causes the formation of micro-cracks that first starts at the tip of fibres oriented parallel to the tensile direction and along fibres oriented perpendicular to the tensile direction. With increasing strain level, the thickness of these micro-cracks increases and coalescence mechanisms between adjacent micro-cracks are noted. The coalescence mechanism of some micro-cracks is believed to be at the origin of the material rupture.mame201200428-gra-0001