Nanoscale characterization of interphase properties in maleated polypropylene-treated natural fiber-reinforced polymer composites


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Contact resonance force microscopy has been used to evaluate the effect of maleated polypropylene (MAPP) concentration on interphase thickness as well as the spatial distribution of mechanical properties within the interphase of cellulose fiber-reinforced polypropylene composites. The average interphase thickness values ranged from 25 nm to 104 nm for different concentrations of MAPP. The interphase region showed a gradient in the elastic modulus, with a gradual decrease in modulus from fiber to matrix. The interphase region in the specimen containing 0% MAPP showed a narrow interphase with steep gradient in modulus from fiber to matrix, whereas the use of MAPP significantly increased the interphase thickness which resulted in a more gradual change in modulus from fiber to matrix. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 2013. © Society of Plastics Engineers