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Mechanical interlocking between porous electrospun polystyrene fibers and an epoxy matrix
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An epoxy matrix filled with nonwoven mats of porous polystyrene (PS) fibers processed by an electrospinning was compression tested at quasi-static (1 × 10–3 s–1) and high strain (315 s–1) rates. The electrospun PS fibers with a diameter between 6 and 9 μm, accommodated spherical pores on the surface with the sizes ranging from 0.1 to 0.2 μm. The filling epoxy matrix with 0.2 wt % PS fibers increased the compressive elastic modulus and compressive strength over those of neat epoxy resin. The microscopic observations indicated that the surface pores facilitated the resin intrusions into the fiber, enhancing the interlocking between resin and fibers, and increased the deformation energy expenditure of the polymer matrix.