Interface properties and their effect on the mechanical performance of flax fibre thermoplastic composites

W. Woigk, C. A. Fuentes, J. Rion, D. Hegemann, A. W. van Vuure, C. Dransfeld, K. Masania

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Natural fibre (NF) reinforced composites offer high specific mechanical properties and are an ecological alternative to synthetic fibre-reinforced composites. While having great potential, their use today is limited to non-structural applications, mostly with epoxy or polypropylene matrices. This work studies suitable high-performance thermoplastic matrices and characterises their bulk properties, fibre-wetting and composite mechanical behaviour. Thermoplastic polymers such as poly-L-lactide (PLLA) and polyoxymethylene (coPOM) are matrices with bulk properties similar to epoxy. The results show that PLLA matrix NF-composites have a longitudinal modulus and strength of 27 GPa and 308 MPa. The tougher coPOM matrix NF-composites show both high transverse stiffness and strength of 2.6 GPa and 41.5 MPa and show that even the drawback of creep can be overcome by the use of hierarchically structured coPOM. The developed NF-composites demonstrate in-plane properties comparable to those with epoxy matrices and can outperform them by up to 26% in the transverse direction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-17
Number of pages10
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • A. Natural fibre composites
  • B. Thermoplastic matrices
  • C. High toughness
  • D. Interface


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