Microtension Test Method for Measuring Tensile Properties of Individual Cellulosic Fibers


  • Ge Wang
  • Yan Yu
  • Sheldon Q. Shi
  • Jinwu Wang
  • Shuangping Cao
  • Haitao Cheng


Tensile properties, microtension, cellulosic fibers, microtester, Chinese fir


A microtension testing system was devised to measure mechanical properties of individual cellulosic fibers. To avoid specimen gripping and to enhance fiber alignment during testing, a self-aligning ball and socket gripping assembly was used in the microtensile tester design. A resolution of 0.098 mN was obtained for the tensile load measurement with this microtensile tester. Fiber strain was determined from high-precision stepper motor movement with 0.078-μm resolution or by in situ video photography. Cross-sectional areas of a single fiber cell wall were measured with a confocal laser scanning microscope. Results obtained from this system indicated a linear stress-strain curve until fatal failure for mature latewood fibers, whereas juvenile latewood fibers displayed curvilinear stress-strain relationships. Average values of tensile strength, tensile modulus, and elongation at break were 1258 MPa, 19.9 GPa, and 6.6% for mature latewood fiber and 558 MPa, 8.5 GPa, and 9.9% for juvenile latewood fiber, respectively. These values agreed with published data. The preliminary test indicated the usefulness of the integrated environmental chamber for investigating moisture effect on fiber engineering properties, but further investigation is needed to obtain statistically significant data.


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