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Title: The effect of fibre-bundling on the mechanical properties of a short-fibre composite
Author: Mulligan, David Richard
ISNI:       0000 0000 5036 8787
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1999
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It has been suggested that the use of fibre bundles rather than individual fibres can improve the toughness properties of a short-fibre composite. Previous experimental work on this topic employed materials in which bundles were impregnated prior to manufacture or materials with poorly defined fibre-bundling. This study is the first to consider the mechanical properties of a series of materials where the bundles have been impregnated during manufacture of the material, and the materials tested contained a well-defined proportion of fibres within bundles of a known size. A novel manufacturing technique has been developed that can be used to produce short carbon fibre reinforced polypropylene materials with a controlled proportion of fibres in bundles. Materials manufactured in this work contained 0 %, 25 %, 50 %, 75 % and 100 % of the fibres in bundles. The fibres had a length of 5 mm or 10 mm and the bundles contained either 1000 or 6000 fibres. An increase in the proportion of fibres within bundles results in a decrease in the tensile modulus of the short-fibre composites. This decrease was less severe for materials containing bundles with a greater aspect ratio or laminates with a greater thickness. A model for the modulus of the materials has been developed which illustrates some of the effects of fibre-bundling on the structure of a short-fibre composite. For the materials studied, tensile strength of materials containing bundles was one quarter of the tensile strength of the filamentised material. Only one combination of fibre length and bundle size resulted in a clear increase in toughness, as measured by JJ, compared to the filamentised material and this increase appears to be due to areas of unreinforced matrix in the material. Materials containing both filamentised fibres and fibre bundles had relatively low values of J, The fracture surfaces were imaged and three distinct ways in which a bundle may fail have been identified. Discussion of the fracture mechanisms active in these materials concludes that the use of fibre-bundling to improve toughness is unlikely to be effective due to the mechanism that has been proposed
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Toughness; Tensile modulus; Filamentised; Bundles