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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Wet/Dry-Cycling and Plasma Treatments on the Properties of Flax Nonwovens Intended for Composite Reinforcing

Departament d’Enginyeria Tèxtil i Paperera, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech, Colom 11, Terrassa 08222, Spain
Departament d’Enginyeria Agroalimentària i Biotecnologia, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech, Av. del Canal Olímpic 15, Castelldefels 08860, Spain
Departament d’Enginyeria Química, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech, Colom 1, Terrassa 08222, Spain
Cellular Materials Laboratory, Condensed Matter Physics Department, Universidad de Valladolid, Paseo Belén 4, Facultad de Ciencias, Valladolid 47011, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marco Morreale
Materials 2016, 9(2), 93;
Received: 27 November 2015 / Revised: 23 December 2015 / Accepted: 25 January 2016 / Published: 3 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Composites)
This research analyzes the effects of different treatments on flax nonwoven (NW) fabrics which are intended for composite reinforcement. The treatments applied were of two different kinds: a wet/dry cycling which helps to stabilize the cellulosic fibers against humidity changes and plasma treatments with air, argon and ethylene gases considering different conditions and combinations, which produce variation on the chemical surface composition of the NWs. The resulting changes in the chemical surface composition, wetting properties, thermal stability and mechanical properties were determined. Variations in surface morphology could be observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results of the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) showed significant changes to the surface chemistry for the samples treated with argon or air (with more content on polar groups on the surface) and ethylene plasma (with less content of polar groups). Although only slight differences were found in moisture regain and water retention values (WRV), significant changes were found on the contact angle values, thus revealing hydrophilicity for the air-treated and argon-treated samples and hydrophobicity for the ethylene-treated ones. Moreover, for some of the treatments the mechanical testing revealed an increase of the NW breaking force. View Full-Text
Keywords: plasma treatment; cellulose fibers; surface functionalization plasma treatment; cellulose fibers; surface functionalization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ventura, H.; Claramunt, J.; Navarro, A.; Rodriguez-Perez, M.A.; Ardanuy, M. Effects of Wet/Dry-Cycling and Plasma Treatments on the Properties of Flax Nonwovens Intended for Composite Reinforcing. Materials 2016, 9, 93.

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