Interfacial Polarization in Thermoplastic Basalt Fiber-Reinforced Composites

Wojciech Ignaczak, Anne Ladegaard Skov, Miroslawa El Fray*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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The aim of this work was to study the interfacial behavior of basalt-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic blends of polypropylene and poly(butylene terephthalate) (PP/PBT). We examined the effect of two compatibilizers and two basalt fiber (BF) sizings: commercial (REF) and experimental (EXP). Differential scanning calorimetry was used to assess the influence of BFs on the phase structure of obtained composites. Furthermore, dielectric relaxation spectroscopy was used for the first time to non-destructively study the interfacial adhesion within an entire volume of BF-reinforced composites by assessing the α relaxation, DC conductivity, and Maxwell-Wagner-Sillars (MWS) polarization. The fiber-matrix adhesion was further investigated using the Havriliak-Negami model. Using complex plane analysis, the dielectric strength, which is inversely related to the adhesion, was calculated. The composites reinforced with EXP fibers showed significantly lower values of dielectric strength compared to the REF fibers, indicating better adhesion between the reinforcement and blend matrix. Static bending tests also confirmed improved fiber adhesion with EXP fibers, while also suggesting a synergistic effect between compatibilizer and sizing in enhancing interfacial properties. Thus, we conclude that substantially improved adhesion of PP/PBT BF-reinforced composites is the result of mutual interactions of functional groups of blend matrix, mostly from blend compatibilizer, and fiber surface due to sizing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1486
Issue number7
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Basalt fiber
  • Interface
  • MWS polarization
  • Thermoplastic composites
  • Polymer blend

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