Abstract

Composite materials such as carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) and glass-fiber-reinforced plastics (GFRP) have been attracting much attention from the viewpoint of lightweight solution of automobiles and airplanes. However, the recyclability of these composite materials is not sufficient and the environmental load is large. Recently, self-reinforced polymer (SRP), in which similar polymer is used for reinforcing fibers and matrix, has been proposed. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) reinforced with ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibers, so-called self-reinforced PE (SRPE), is one of the promising thermoplastic composites. In this study, SRPE plates were made and the tensile tests were carried out. After the effect of reinforcement of UHMWPE fibers was evaluated on the basis of the tensile strength, the relationship between the distribution of UHMWPE fibers and the location of the final fracture line was examined. It was found from these experimental results that the fracture tends to occur along the regions with low area fraction of fibers or along those with low area fraction of fiber/matrix boundaries. This fact suggests that the fracture location of SRPs is predictable from the distribution of reinforcing fibers.

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