Journal of Materials Science, Vol.41, No.19, 6322-6327, 2006
Dynamics of absorbed water in model composites of polyamide 6 and carbon fibre evaluated by differential scanning calorimetry
The crystallization and subsequent melting behaviour of absorbed water in the model composites of polyamide 6 (PA6) and carbon fibre were investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) in comparison with those in neat PA6, using the small rectangular specimens exposed to water at 90 degrees C. In the DSC curves of PA6 any exothermic peaks of crystallization and endothermic ones of melting were not observed, but a step corresponding to glass transition was observed at about -30 degrees C during the heating process. Thus water absorbed by neat PA6 was recognized as non-freezing bound water which does not crystallize, probably due to the strong interaction with the polyamide chains. On the other hand, for the model composite several exothermic peaks were clearly observed at temperatures ranging from -10 to -20 degrees C, and their intensity was increased with increasing the fibre content. The distinct endothermic peaks were detected around at 0 degrees C during the reversed heating process. The glass transition temperature was not affected by adding the carbon fibre. Comparing with the result of neat PA6 indicates that in the model composite water exists in a state near free water, besides the non-freezing bound water dispersed in the matrix polyamide. It is further implied that water is mainly accumulated in the matrix/fibre interfacial region with some microstructural heterogeneties or defects, in which the water molecules can easily move under much weaker interaction with the polyamide chains.