Table of Contents
Journal of Polymers
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 424015, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/424015
Research Article

A Preliminary Investigation of Ductility-Enhancement Mechanism through In Situ Nanofibrillation in Thermoplastic Matrix Composites

1General Motors Technical Centre India Pvt. Ltd., Vehicle Performance Centers, Vehicle CAE Methods Group, International Tech Park Ltd., Whitefield Road, Bangalore 560 066, India
2General Motors Technical Centre India Pvt. Ltd., Vehicle Performance Centers, Materials and IMDS Group, International Tech Park Ltd., Whitefield Road, Bangalore 560 066, India

Received 29 March 2013; Revised 17 June 2013; Accepted 20 June 2013

Academic Editor: Zhong-Ming Li

Copyright © 2013 Bhaskar Patham and M. P. Poornendu Thejaswini. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

A preliminary investigation of interrelationships between tensile stress-strain characteristics and morphology evolution during deformation is conducted on a commercially available thermoplastic composite with a low-surface-energy nanofibrillating poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) additive. In this class of composites, the deformation-associated nanofibrillation of the low-surface-energy additive has been hypothesized to provide an additional dissipation mechanism, thereby enhancing the ductility of the composite. This class of composites offers potential for automotive light weighting in exterior and interior body and fascia applications; it is therefore of interest to investigate processing-structure-property interrelationships in these materials. This study specifically probes the interrelationships between the plastic deformation within the matrix and the fibrillation of the low-surface-energy additive; tensile tests are carried out at two different temperatures which are chosen so as to facilitate and suppress plastic deformation within the matrix polymer. Based on these preliminary investigations, it is noted that PTFE fibrillation acts synergistically with the ductile deformation of the matrix resin resulting in higher strains to failure of the composite; the results also suggest that the mechanism of fibrillation-assisted enhancement of strains to failure may not operate in the absence of matrix plasticity.