Multi-scale characterization of flax stems and fibers : structure and mechanical performances

Abstract : Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) is a plant with multiple interests. Its stem provides fibers, which have long been used in the textile industry. The economic potential of flax explains its varietal selection, aiming at developing varieties exhibiting higher fiber yields as well as greater resistance toward diseases and lodging. More recently, flax fibers have been dedicated to the reinforcement of composite materials due to their outstanding mechanical and morphological properties. These singular characteristics are related to fiber development and functions within the stem. Thus, the present work offers a multi-scale characterization of flax, from the stem to the fiber cell wall, in order to understand the link between plant growth parameters, the development of its fibers and their properties. The general architecture of a flax stem is investigated, as well as the impact of the varietal selection on this structure and on fiber performances. Moreover, changes in mechanical properties of fiber cell walls over plant growth and retting process are characterized. In addition, the fiber contribution to the stem stiffness is highlighted, as well as the fiber role in the resistance of the stem to buckling. The influence of culture conditions on stem architecture and fiber features is also studied through cultivations in greenhouse and by simulating a lodging event. This original approach emphasizes the uncommon characteristics of flax, which make this plant an instructive model toward future bioinspired composite materials.
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Camille Goudenhooft. Multi-scale characterization of flax stems and fibers : structure and mechanical performances. Materials. Université de Bretagne Sud, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018LORIS500⟩. ⟨tel-02301223⟩

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