Journal of Applied Polymer Science, Vol.98, No.3, 974-984, 2005
Modification of cellulose fibers with functionalized silanes: Effect of the fiber treatment on the mechanical performances of cellulose-thermoset composites
Unsaturated polyester and epoxy resin matrices were filled with silane-treated cellulose fibers and the ensuing composites were tested in terms of mechanical properties before and after accelerated aging consisting of their immersion into water. The coupling agents used were gamma-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APS), gamma-methacrylopropyltrimethoxysilane (NIPS), hexadecytrimethoxysilane, and gamma-mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane (MRPS) and those containing reactive functions capable of reacting at one end with the fibers and at the other with the matrix, namely, APS, NIPS, and MRPS, were more efficient in improving the mechanical properties of the composites. The immersion into water induced a drastic loss of mechanical properties of the materials. The water uptake of the composites was also studied and showed that the silane treatment was poorly efficient in preventing cellulose from water absorption. The fracture surfaces were inspected by scanning electron microscopy, which confirmed the quality of the interface. These observations were in agreement with the results obtained from the dynamic mechanical characterization. (c) 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.