A microindentation study of polyethylene composites produced by hot compaction.
Microindentation measurements are reported on a range of single polymer polyethylene (PE) composites, which are produced by hot compaction of high modulus PE fibers. It is possible to measure two hardness values, parallel and perpendicular to the fiber direction respectively, from which the microindentation anisotropy is defined. The hardness values relate to the instantaneous elastic recovery of the fibers, and the results show that the microindentation measurement is deforming a material volume below the surface of the sheets comparable to the dimensions of the fibers. It appears that the microindentation anisotropy approaches a limiting value with increasing fiber orientation, i.e., as the Young’s modulus of the fibers increases. (c) 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.