Injection Moulding of Natural Fibre Reinforced Polypropylene : Process, Microstructure and Properties

Abstract : Natural fibres are an alternative to glass fibres for reinforcing polymers. During injection, fibre size, orientation and distribution evolve as a function of flow and determine composite properties. The goal of this thesis is to characterize the microstructure of composites based on two types of fibres, flax and Tencel®, and to correlate with composite properties.The composites were prepared by extrusion and injection. Fibre rupture was higher at higher fibre concentrations. There was practically no breakage during injection. A new approach allowing quantification of fibre orientation, distribution and curvature was developed. The composites with cellulosic fibres have core-skin structure along the part thickness. The rheological properties of composites were studied in dynamic and capillary modes. Tencel® fibres, which are the most flexible, showed the highest viscosity, moduli and yield stress. Tension and impact were measured for samples cut from the moulded part at different orientations towards the main flow direction. Impact properties of Tencel®-based composites were the highest compared to flax and glass fibre composites. Models taking into account fibre orientation were tested. Pressure in the mould during injection was recorded. Pressure calculated with Rem3D software showed a reasonable agreement with the experiment. Modelling of fibre orientation with Rem3D gave results comparable with experiment for flax but turned out to be not applicable for Tencel® which are flexible.The work was performed within the Industrial Chair in Bioplastics supported by MINES ParisTech and Arkema, L'Oréal, Nestlé, PSA and Schneider Electric.
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Ahmed Abdennadher. Injection Moulding of Natural Fibre Reinforced Polypropylene : Process, Microstructure and Properties. Other. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015ENMP0045⟩. ⟨tel-01299794⟩

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