Hygroelastic behaviour of wood-fibre based materials on the composite, fibre and ultrastructural level
Sammanfattning: Wood fibres can be used as reinforcement in plastics for load carrying purposes. Some advantages compared with conventional man-made fibres are that wood fibres come from a renewable resource, have high specific stiffness and strength, are generally less hazardous to health, biodegradable, and can be manufactured at low cost and high volumes. A clear disadvantage with cellulose-based materials for structural use is their dimensional instability in humid environments. The hygroelastic properties are of high importance in materials development of improved wood-fibre composites. This work deals with the stiffness and hygroexpansion of wood fibres for composite materials. The long-term aim is to design engineered wood fibre composites based on better basic knowledge of wood fibres.Mechanistic models have been used to link the fibrous microstructure with macroscopic composite engineering properties. The properties have been characterized experimentally for various wood-fibre composites and their fibre-mat preforms, by means of curvature measurements at various levels of relative humidity, as well as tensile and compressive tests. From these test results and microstructural characterization, the longitudinal Young’s modulus and transverse coefficient of hygroexpansion of wood fibres were identified by inverse modelling. Some effects of various pulp processes and fibre modifications on the elastic properties of the fibre were observed, illustrating how the mixed experimental-modelling approaches can be used in more efficient materials screening and selection.An improved micromechanical analysis for wood-fibre composites has been presented. The model is more appropriate to combine with laminate analogy, to link fibre properties on the microscale to the macroscopic composite properties and vice versa. It also offers the possibility to include the effects of ultrastructure since it can account for an arbitrary number of phases. An approach to model ultrastructure-fibre property relations has been demonstrated. It includes analytical modelling of multilayered cylindrical fibres as well as finite element modelling of fibres with irregular geometry characterized with microscopy. Both approaches are useful and could be combined with experiments to reveal insights that can pave way for a firmer link between the wood fibre ultrastructure and wood fibre properties.
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