Dynamics of absorbed water in model composites of polyamide 6 and carbon fibre evaluated by differential scanning calorimetry
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The crystallization and subsequent melting behaviour of absorbed water in the model composites of polyamide 6 (PA6) and carbon fibre were investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) in comparison with those in neat PA6, using the small rectangular specimens exposed to water at 90 °C. In the DSC curves of PA6 any exothermic peaks of crystallization and endothermic ones of melting were not observed, but a step corresponding to glass transition was observed at about −30 °C during the heating process. Thus water absorbed by neat PA6 was recognized as non-freezing bound water which does not crystallize, probably due to the strong interaction with the polyamide chains. On the other hand, for the model composite several exothermic peaks were clearly observed at temperatures ranging from −10 to −20 °C, and their intensity was increased with increasing the fibre content. The distinct endothermic peaks were detected around at 0 °C during the reversed heating process. The glass transition temperature was not affected by adding the carbon fibre. Comparing with the result of neat PA6 indicates that in the model composite water exists in a state near free water, besides the non-freezing bound water dispersed in the matrix polyamide. It is further implied that water is mainly accumulated in the matrix/fibre interfacial region with some microstructural heterogeneties or defects, in which the water molecules can easily move under much weaker interaction with the polyamide chains.
KeywordsDifferential Scanning Calorimetry Carbon Fibre Exothermic Peak Differential Scanning Calorimetry Curve Interfacial Region
The authors wish to thank TPU for the special financial support for this study. M. Nomiya is gratefully acknowledged for her assistance in conducting the DSC measurements.
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