Hygrothermal ageing of polyamide 6 (PA6) and polyamide 6 reinforced with 30 wt% of glass fibers (PA6GF30) was undertaken. Immersion was conducted in distilled water at 90 °C and 100% relative humidity (RH) for up to 80 days (1920 h). Results revealed a noteworthy decrease either in glass transition temperature Tg or in tensile properties, at early stage of ageing, for both studied materials. This decline was mainly caused by the plasticization effect of water and the weakness of the interfacial interactions leading as a consequence to a loss of adhesion between fiber and matrix. Afterwards, physical and mechanical properties decrease monotonically testifying the occurrence of exhaustive damages and chemical reaction phenomena. Such phenomena were yellowing and crazing formation which were observed for both materials after 1920 h of conditioning. The former is caused by the thermo- oxidation whereas the latter results from the release of internal stresses induced by water sorption. These chemical reactions were monitored by infrared spectroscopy. Thus, an increase of the free N-H stretch and the carbonyl groups (imides) was noted. Accordingly, it seems that long term immersion in distilled water at high temperature induces chemical reactions which indicate the severity of the damage.
Journal of Polymer Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 31, 2017
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