Date of this Version
Fibers 2018, 6, 7
In this work, the apparent shear strength at the interface between a bamboo fiber and the surrounding poly(lactic acid) (PLA) matrix is quantified. A method for processing pull-out test samples within a controlled embedded length is proposed and the details of the test procedure are presented, along with a critical discussion of the results. Two series of samples are considered: untreated and mercerized bamboo fibers from the same batch, embedded in the same polyester matrix. Electron and optical microscopy are used to observe the fiber–matrix interface before and after the test, and to identify the failure mode of each sample, especially as regards the occurrence of fibrillation in the fiber bundles. The values of apparent interfacial shear strength are calculated only for regular fibers successfully pulled out from the matrix, and reported with their statistical variations. Mercerization, whose efficiency was proven by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, did not appear though to improve the quality of the interface (Tapp = 7.0 ± 3.1 MPa for untreated fibers and Tapp = 5.3 ± 2.4 MPa for treated fibers).