A model long-discontinuous-fiber filled thermoplastic melt in extensional flow
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The shear cell model works for dilute fiber filled systems in extensional flow. This research investigates the suitability of the idea for highly aligned fibers in a concentrated suspension. A model fiber-filled polymer system made from nylon fibers in low-density polyethylene provided a means of controlling the material parameters. Two systems, with fiber aspect ratios of 20 and 100, containing 50% 0.5 mm fibers by volume are investigated. The thickness of the polymer layer, i.e. with fibers this size, allows bulk viscosity data to be compared with the data from the filled fluid. A weaving process created the discontinuous fiber/polyethylene preforms with high alignment of the fibers and with control of the fiber to fiber overlap. Testing the polyethylene in simple shear and extending the nylon/polyethylene provided the data needed to check the micro mechanics. A cone and plate rheometer and a capillary instrument produced the viscosity/strain rate data that characterized the specific polyethylene used in the composite. A furnace inset placed in an Instron hydraulic test machine allowed extension of the filled system at strain rates from 0.002 to 0.4 s-1. The shear experiments show that the low-density polyethylene is a simple shear-thinning melt that provides a good model fluid. The extension of the filled systems shows an increase of the apparent extensional viscosity from that of neat polyethylene. Apparent viscosity rises two to three orders of magnitude for the systems investigated. The micromechanics allowed the conversion of the extensional data from the two filled systems to the shear viscosity of the polymer surrounding the fibers. The calculated polyethylene viscosity compares well with the data from the standard rheometers. The shear cell approach may be applied to highly aligned, high fiber-volume-fraction suspensions when the viscosity of the polymer is known at the scale of the film surrounding each fiber. © 1997 Elsevier Science B.V.
author list (cited authors)
Creasy, T. S., & Advani, S. G.