Microwave induced hierarchical nanostructures on aramid fibers and their influence on adhesion properties in a rubber matrix

Sarianna Palola, E. Sarlin, S. Kolahgar Azari, V. Koutsos, Jyrki Vuorinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Several commercial surface treatments are used to increase the adhesion between aramid fibers and the matrix material in composite structures but each of these has some limitations. The aim of this study is to address some of these limitations by developing a surface treatment method for aramid fibers that would not affect mechanical properties of the fibers negatively, could be used with any matrix material and that could withstand handling of the fibers and ageing. The method used is microwave assisted surface treatment that uses microwave radiation together with dry reactive chemicals to create hierarchical structures to the fiber surface and so makes it possible to control the adhesion properties of the fibers. SEM and AFM imaging, fiber tensile tests and modified bundle pull-out test were used to investigate the outcome of the surface treatment and measure adhesion between aramid fiber bundles and rubber. SEM and AFM imaging revealed that nanoscale deposits are formed on to the fiber surface which enable mechanical interlocking between the fiber and the matrix material. Fiber tensile tests showed that the surface treatment does not influence the tensile properties of the fiber negatively. Results from the bundle pull-out tests confirmed that this kind of method can lead up to 259% improvement in adhesion when compared to untreated aramid fibers in the rubber matrix.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Adhesion
  • Aramid fiber
  • Hierarchical structures
  • Mechanical interlocking
  • Microwave treatment
  • Surface modification


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