Influence of Viscose Fibre Geometry on the Structure–Property Relationships of High-Density Polyethylene Composites

Janez Slapnik, Gregor Kraft, Thomas Wilhelm, Marcel Hribernik, Iztok Švab, Thomas Lucyshyn, Gerald Gerhard Pinter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This study investigated the influence of viscose fibre (VF) geometry on the microstructures and resulting properties of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) composites. Seven types of viscose fibres varying in cross-section shape, linear density, and length were pelletised, compounded into HDPE with a twin-screw extruder, and injection moulded. The microstructures of the composites were characterised by investigating their cross-sections and by extracting the fibres and measuring their lengths using optical microscopy (OM). The mechanical and thermal properties of the composites were characterised using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), tensile tests, Charpy impact tests, and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). The composites prepared using cylindrical fibres with a linear density of 1.7 dtex exhibited the best fibre dispersion, highest orientation, and lowest fibre–fibre contact area. The decrease in the linear density of the cylindrical fibres resulted in increasingly worse dispersion and orientation, while composites containing non-cylindrical fibres exhibited a comparably larger fibre–fibre contact area. The initial fibre length of about 3 to 10 mm decreased to the mean values of 0.29 mm to 0.41 mm during processing, depending on the initial geometry. In general, cylindrical fibres exhibited a superior reinforcing effect in comparison to non-cylindrical fibres. The composites containing cylindrical fibres with a linear density of 1.7 dtex and a length of 5 mm exhibited the best reinforcing effect with an increase in tensile modulus and strength of 323% and 141%, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4389
Number of pages15
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2022

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