Impact of hygrothermal ageing of low-density polyethylene/short flax fibre composites on the multi-scale properties.
Flax reinforced polyethylene composites were subjected to a long sorption /desorption/resorption cycle, at 30°C and 100% relative humidity. Then, a multi scale characterization was conducted. The sorption kinetics revealed the influence of the fibre content and the interface quality on the diffusion mechanisms. Chemical analysis has revealed the oxidation of the polyethylene matrix and the loss of hydrosoluble fibres components during ageing. A microbiological survey revealed that under these weathering conditions, the composites were sensitive to microbial development. These modifications have affected the global performances in terms of mechanical properties.