Cellulose fiber reinforced nylon 6 or nylon 66 composites
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Cellulose fiber was used to reinforce higher melting temperature engineering thermoplastics, such as nylon 6 and nylon 66. The continuous extrusion - direct compression molding processing and extrusion-injection molding were chosen to make cellulose fiber/nylon 6 or 66 composites. Tensile, flexural and Izod impact tests were used to demonstrate the mechanical properties of the composites. The continuous extrusion-compression molding processing can decrease the thermal degradation of cellulose fiber, but fiber doesn't disperse well with this procedure. Injection molding gave samples with better fiber dispersion and less void content, and thus gave better mechanical properties than compression molding. Low temperature compounding was used to extrude cellulose fiber/nylon composites. Plasticizer and a ceramic powder were used to decrease the processing temperature. Low temperature extrusion gave better mechanical properties than high temperature extrusion. The tensile modulus of nylon 6 composite with 30 % fiber can reach 5GPa; with a tensile strength of 68MPa; a flexural modulus of 4GPa, and a flexural strength of 100MPa. The tensile modulus of nylon 66 composites with 30 %fiber can reach 5GPa;with a flexural modulus of 5GPa; a tensile strength of 70MPa; and a flexural strength of 147MPa. The effect of thermal degradation on fiber properties was estimated. The Halpin-Tsai model and the Cox model were used to estimate the composite modulus. The Kelly-Tyson model was used to estimate the composite strength. The result indicates that the change of fiber properties determines the final properties of composites. Fiber length has a minor affect on both modulus and strength as long as the fiber length is above the critical length.