A novel material, self-reinforced composite poly(methyl methacrylate) (SRC-PMMA) has been previously developed in this laboratory. It consists of high-strength PMMA fibers embedded in a matrix of PMMA derived from the fibers. As a composite material, uniaxial SRC-PMMA has been shown to have greatly improved flexural, tensile, fracture toughness and fatigue properties when compared to unreinforced PMMA. Previous work examined one empirically defined processing condition. This work systematically examines the effect of processing time and temperature on the thermal properties, fracture toughness and fracture morphology of SRC-PMMA produced by a hot compaction method. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) shows that composites containing high amounts of retained molecular orientation exhibit both endothermic and exothermic peaks which depend on processing times and temperatures. An exothermic release of energy just above T(g) is related to the release of retained molecular orientation in the composites. This release of energy decreases linearly with increasing processing temperature or time for the range investigated. Fracture toughness results show a maximum fracture toughness of 3.18 MPa m(1/2) for samples processed for 65 min at 128°C. Optimal structure and fracture toughness are obtained in composites which have maximum interfiber bonding and minimal loss of molecular orientation. Composite fracture mechanisms are highly dependent on processing. Low processing times and temperatures result in more interfiber/matrix fracture, while higher processing times and temperatures result in higher ductility and more transfiber fracture. Excessive processing times result in brittle failure.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering