Toughness and microscopic fracture mechanisms of unfilled and short-glass-fibre-filled poly(cyano arylether)
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Fracture mechanisms of an advanced high-strength thermoplastic poly(cyano arylether) (PCAE) and its short-glass-fibre (SGF)-reinforced composites have been studied in relation to toughnesses Kc and Jc. Test temperatures were 23 and 100 °C. Reflected and transmitted optical observations were combined with scanning electron microscopy for the fractographic investigation. For unreinforced PCAE tested at 100 °C, the damage area in front of a notch becomes fairly large in size and consists of numerous tensile microfailures around the local plastic yielding zone, as compared with that tested at 23 °C. This resulted in a substantial improvement of Kc and a big increase in Jc. Filling fibres, however, produced both toughening and anti-toughening results: effects of fibre spanning, pull-out and bridging across the local plastic failure zone and zigzag propagation of fracture due to fibre filling, improved the toughness. However, adhesive failure at the fibre-matrix interface, tensile microcleavage at the fibre ends and straightforward fracture in the skin layer, considerably diminished the values of Kc and Jc, except for the trend of Kc at 23 °C.
KeywordsSkin Layer Local Plastic Optical Observation Plastic Yielding Failure Zone
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