Dynamic and capillary shear rheology of natural fiber-reinforced composites


  • Nicolas Le Moigne is currently at Centre des Matériaux des Mines d'Alès (C2MA), Ecole des Mines d'Alés, 6 avenue de Clavières, F-30319 Alès CEDEX, France. CEMEF and Wageningen UR are members of the European Polysaccharide Network of Excellence (EPNOE), http://www.epnoe.eu.


An extended dynamic and capillary rheological study of molten flax and sisal polypropylene (PP) composites was performed. Fiber concentration varied from 20 to 50 wt% and shear rate from 0.1 rad s−1 to 10,000 s#142;−1. Maleic anhydride-grafted-PP was used as compatibilizer; it strongly reduces PP and composite viscosity. Composites are yield-stress shear-thinning fluids with solid-like behavior being more pronounced at high fiber content. Composites do not obey Cox–Merz rule, which was explained by different macrostructures of the molten composites in parallel plates and capillary die geometries: random fiber orientation versus strong alignment in the flow direction, respectively. Theories describing the viscosity of suspensions of solid particles were applied to the composites studied and rheological parameters and maximal packing fiber volume fraction were calculated. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 53:2582–2593, 2013. ©2013 Society of Plastics Engineers.