Anisotropy of the keratin fibre composite

Xiaoming Tao, R. Postle

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This paper presents a composite model of the natural keratin fibres (wool and hair) which consists essentially of isotropic viscoelastic filaments, oriented parallel to each other in the fibre axial direction, embedded in an isotropic viscoelastic matrix. The model accurately fits the experimental data on the fibre axial stress relaxation moduli and provides upper and lower bounds for the initial/final values for the fibre transverse tensile and shear stress relaxation moduli and transverse Poisson's ratio. The partially water penetrable filament phase of the composite model is identified as the microfibrils in the structure of keratin. The strong anisotropy of keratins in mechanical properties and hygral/thermal expansion is analyzed in terms of composite structure and mechanical as well as the thermal/hygral properties of the two constituent phases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Dong Hua University (English Edition)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics


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