Strain-induced internal fibrillation in looped aramid filaments

Brian Richard Pauw, Martin Etchells Vigild, Kell Mortensen, Jens Wenzel Andreasen, Enno A. Klop, Dag Werner Breiby, Oliver Bunk

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


By mapping the small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) from a looped poly-(para-phenylene terephtalamide) (aramid, PPTA) filament using a synchrotron X-ray microbeam, we investigate the effects of axially compressive and tensile strain on internal fibrillar structures. Unique observations of oscillations in the highly anisotropic SAXS patterns indicate a regular internal structure. Upon increase of the applied compressive strain, a significant decrease in oscillation frequency is observed in the scattering pattern. With an increase in imposed tensile strain an increase in oscillation frequency in the scattering pattern is observed. One model capable of describing the intensity is a model of stacked cylinders. These cylinders could be part of the fibrillar structure present in the PPTA fibres, which consist of cylinder- to tape-like objects, the presence of which is supported by SEM images. One hypothetical physical interpretation presented here for the appearance of a regular internal structure is the occurrence of fibrillar separation in regions undergoing axially compressive strain, and the appearance of strain relief/slip planes between packs of fibrils in regions undergoing tensile strain. Compaction of these packs upon increase of tensile strain could increase the repetition distance in the structure as multiple packs combine to form a single pack.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number20
Pages (from-to)4589-4598
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Biopolymers
  • Solar energy


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