Analysis of the tensile modulus of polypropylene composites reinforced with stone groundwood fibers

One of the most relevant properties of composite materials to be considered is stiffness. Fiberglass has been used traditionally as a fibrous reinforcing element when stiff materials are required. However, natural fibers are been exploited as replacements for synthetic fibers to satisfy environmental concerns. Among the different natural fibers, wood fibers show the combination of relatively high aspect ratio, good specific stiffness and strength, low density, low cost, and less variability than other natural fibers of such those from annual crops. In this work, composites from polypropylene and stone groundwood fibers from softwood were prepared and mechanically characterized under tensile loads. The Young’s moduli of the ensuing composites were analyzed and their micromechanics aspects evaluated. The reinforcing effect of stone groundwood fibers was compared to that of conventional reinforcement such fiberglass. The Halpin-Tsai model with the modification proposed by Tsai-Pagano accounted fairly for the behavior of PP composites reinforced with stone groundwood fibers. It was also demonstrated that the aspect ratio of the reinforcement plays a role in the Young’s modulus of injection molded specimens ​
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