Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research


Fiber Reinforcement and Fracture Resistance of PC/PBT/LCP Ternary In-Situ Composite

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The microstructures, mechanical properties, and fracture toughness of LCP (Vectra B950) reinforced PC/PBT blend with a 60/40 weight ratio have been studied. LCP of varying concentrations were investigated as rigid fillers in matrices of multiphase polymer blends. In this study, differences in microstructures and morphology between samples of two thicknesses (4 mm thick and 6 mm thick) and two geometries (dumbbell and rectangular) were compared using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Given identical processing conditions, fibrous LCP structures were evident in the 4-mm-thick injection molded, dumbbell-shaped samples, whereas the 6-mm-thick rectangular samples displayed spherical dispersion of LCP aggregates that embrittled the preblended ductile matrix. Tensile properties of the dumbbell specimens showed superior strengthening and stiffening whereby the tensile strength increased twofold and the modulus increased fourfold. Plane strain fracture toughness was slightly enhanced as the LCP content increased because of the fiber strengthening effect but the overall fracture performance of the in situ composites was relatively poor compared with PC/PBT. Experimental results were compared with those predicted in composite theory. Simplified micromechanics equations were developed to describe the tensile moduli of injection molded LCP reinforced blends that exhibited a strong skin-core morphology.

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Polymer Engineering & Science





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