The effect of temperature and moisture on mechanical behavior of flax fiber/starch based composites was investigated experimentally. Elastic modulus, the nonlinear tensile loading curves, and failure strain were analyzed. Neat matrix and composites with 20 and 40% weight content of fibers were tested. It was found, performing tests with different amplitudes, that microdamage development with stress is rather limited and the related elastic modulus reduction in this type of composites is not significant. It was shown that the composite elastic modulus and failure stress are linearly related to the maximum tensile stress in resin. The sensitivity of the maximum stress of the resin with respect to temperature and moisture is the source of composites sensitivity to these parameters. Constant interface stress shear lag model for stress transfer assuming matrix yielding at the fiber/matrix interface has been successfully used to explain the tensile test data. It indicates that the sensitivity of the used composite with respect to the matrix properties change could be significantly reduced by increasing the average fiber length from 0.9 mm to 1.5 mm.
Spārniņš, E., Pupurs, A., Varna, J., Joffe, R., Nättinen, K., & Lampinen, J. (2011). The moisture and temperature effect on mechanical performance of flax/starch composites in quasi-static tension. Polymer Composites, 32(12), 2051-2061. https://doi.org/10.1002/pc.21184