We present the results of an extensive study of the influence of average fibre diameter and the width of the diameter distribution on the performance of injection moulded glass-fibre reinforced polyamide 66. In the average fibre diameter range from 9-18m dry-as-moulded (DaM) composite unnotched impact and tensile strength decreased significantly. The composite notched impact performance and tensile modulus showed little dependence on fibre diameter. The influence of broadening the fibre diameter distribution by blending glass fibre samples of different average diameter was found to be particularly negative on the level of composite unnotched impact when compared at equal number average diameter. After hydrolysis treatment the composite tensile strength and modulus exhibited a large drop compared to the DaM results. In contrast, the unnotched impact results became insensitive to fibre diameter after hydrolysis. The average level of unnotched impact after hydrolysis was sufficiently high to show an increase over DaM when the fibre diameter was above 14m. Residual fibre length correlated significantly with fibre diameter with a lower average length for thinner fibres. The interfacial shear strength was found to be in the range of 26-34 MPa for DaM composites. There was a highly significant inverse correlation between the DaM interfacial strength and the average fibre diameter. It is shown that results from both tensile and unnotched impact measurements can be brought back to single trend lines by using a Z average value for the average fibre diameter which is more heavily weighted to the thicker fibres in the distribution.
- polymer composites
- materials science