Physical and Mechanical Properties of Polypropylene-Wood-Carbon Fiber Hybrid Composites

Djamila Kada, Sébastien Migneault, Ghezalla Tabak, Ahmed Koubaa


Effects of the addition of short carbon fibers (CFs) on the mechanical, physical, and morphological properties of polypropylene (PP) and wood-polypropylene composites (WPCs) were investigated. Hybrid composites (mix of wood and CFs) were manufactured in a two-stage process, pellet extrusion and samples mold injection with varying amounts of poplar wood fiber (0%, 20%, 30%, and 40%) and CFs (0%, 3%, 6%, and 9%), with and without maleic anhydride grafted PP (MAPP) as a coupling agent. The composites were prepared with extrusion blending followed by injection molding. The samples where then tested for mechanical and physical properties, and fractured surfaces where observed with scanning electron microscopy. The results indicated that the addition of CFs to WPCs improved the tensile and flexural strength and the modulus of elasticity but had only a small influence on elongation at break and impact strength. The density of hybrid composites slightly increased with CFs proportion but their water absorption was not affected. Scanning electron micrographs of the tensile fractured specimens showed improved adhesion of CFs and poplar with the PP matrix in the presence of a coupling agent.


Polypropylene; Short carbon fiber; Poplar wood; Hybrid composite; Mechanical properties

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