The effect of the strain rate on the longitudinal modulus of cellulosic fibres

Marko Zizek, Caterina Czibula, Ulrich Hirn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The longitudinal stiffness of cellulosic fibres plays an important role in the mechanical performance of many products these fibres are used for. Especially, the fibres’ viscoelastic properties are having an influence on the product performance.

In this work, tensile testing at different strain rates was performed on single fibres to investigate the rate dependence of their moduli. Four different fibre types were tested: chemi-thermomechanical softwood pulp (CTMP), bleached chemical softwood pulp (CP), unbleached softwood kraft pulp (UKP), and viscose (VIS). For each fibre sample, ten strain rates ranging from 0.113% s−1 to 800% s−1 were applied. The rate-dependent modulus Er of each fibre at each strain rate was calculated by linearly fitting the stress–strain curves. By obtaining the values of the normalized modulus, a slope value per decade was calculated to quantify the rate dependence. To exclude possible plastic and relaxation effects, two additional experiments were used: a force-controlled loading–unloading experiment and a reverse rate protocol.

All cellulosic fibres tested exhibited rate-dependent behaviour with a log-linear relationship between loading rate and modulus. For each tenfold increase in loading rate we found an increase in modulus up to nearly 20%—depending on the fibre type. Viscose fibres exhibit the highest rate dependence, whereas chemical softwood pulp fibres exhibit the lowest
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17517–17529
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)


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