Speaker: professor David Seveno
Title: Engineering the interface between natural fibers and polymer matrices with application to fiber reinforced polymer composite materials
Time: 9:30 a.m. August 31, 2017
Venue: Conference Room 604, Gongcheng Building
About the Speech
Polymer composites made of natural fibers aim at playing a significant role in the fields of construction, automotive, and aeronautics thanks to their light weight property and reduced content of petro-chemical origins. Natural fibers like flax, hemp, or bamboo fibers show promising results as an alternative to glass fibers as they show descent specific mechanical properties but also good thermal and vibration insulating properties. The interfacial strength between the fibers and the polymer matrix also determines to a large extent the final properties of the materials, i.e. the compatibility between both constituents must be good to guarantee an homogeneous impregnation of the fibers during processing and a final strong adhesion. To predict such compatibility, wetting measurements can be performed but remain difficult to analyze and interpret due the physico-chemical heterogeneities of the fiber surfaces. This talk will present how, in KU Leuven, we circumvent this difficulty by studying natural fibers using a combination of a unique synchronized tensiometer/goniometer and a dynamic wetting apparatus.