Mode of wood fibre breakage during thermoplastic melt processing

Alan R. Dickson (Corresponding Author), David Sandquist (Corresponding Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    During polymer composite melt processing thermomechanical wood pulp fibres (WF) have a different breakage mode than described for other natural fibres and glass fibre. During repeated bending, expected during twin-screw extrusion and injection moulding, WF fail by a mode related to their cross-section dimensions. Generally, fibres with large lumens relative to wall thickness ovalise and buckle. Conversely fibres with small lumens relative to wall thickness generally fracture. Confocal microscopy of WF extracted from the polymer matrix after melt processing showed a high degree of cross-section collapse of the bent and twisted fibres. The ability to cross-sectionally collapse during composites processing may make the fibres more resilient to repeated bending stresses and help with fibre length retention. Observations suggest fractures were initiated from the edges of the bent fibres and propagated across the fibre.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)496-503
    Number of pages8
    JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • A. Wood fibres
    • B. Fibre deformation
    • D. Optical microscopy
    • E. Extrusion


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