Thomason, J.L. (2007) Interfaces and interfacial effects in glass reinforced thermoplastics - Keynote Presentation. In: Proceedings of the 28th Risø International Conference on Materials Science. Elsevier Science Ltd.
Optimization of the fibre-matrix interphase region is critical to achieving the required performance level in thermoplastic matrix composites. Due to its initial location on the fibre surface, the sizing layer is an important component in the formation and properties of the composite interphase. Consequently, any attempt to understand the science of the composite interphase must encompass an understanding of the science of sizing. In this paper the role of sizings from fibre manufacture through to performance of composite parts is reviewed. In particular the role of organosilane coupling agents and how the formation of a polysiloxane interphase is influenced by the surface properties of the fibre is examined. The influence of the sizing film former in terms of its level of interaction with the silane coupling agent is also examined. The importance of residual stresses in thermoplastic composites in the values obtained for the apparent adhesion levels in these systems is highlighted. These residual stresses are shown to play a significant role in determining the level of interfacial strength in thermoplastic composites and in particular in polyolefin matrices. By applying some of the available models for this phenomenon this analysis is extended to explore the effect of the anisotropic fibre microstructure of carbon, aramid and natural fibres on the apparent interfacial strength in thermoplastic composites.
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