Mechanical and time-dependent mechanical properties of lyocell fibers have been investigated as a function of depth at a nano-scale level in longitudinal and transverse directions. The nanoindentation technique was applied and extended to continuous stiffness measurement. Lyo10 and Lyo13 lyocell fibers were investigated. The individual fiber properties were measured using a nano-tensile testing system to obtain reference data for mechanical properties. The hardness and elastic modulus obtained from nanoindentation test are described using two different approaches. The first uses mean values for a depth of 150–300 nm, while the second uses unloading values at the final indentation depth. There is no significant difference between modulus values inferred from nanoindentation and those obtained from single fiber tensile testing. Hardness and elastic modulus values were higher in the longitudinal direction than those in the transverse direction and Lyo13 values were higher than those for Lyo10 in both directions. The time-dependent mechanical properties were also investigated as a function of the holding time. Increasing the holding time led to an increase in indentation displacement and a decrease in hardness. Stress exponents were calculated from the linear relationship between contact stress and contact strain using a power-law creep equation.
©2007 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York