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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2016 Nov 2;8(43):29818-29826. Epub 2016 Oct 19.

Multifunctional Textured Surfaces with Enhanced Friction and Hydrophobic Behaviors Produced by Fiber Debonding and Pullout.

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Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Toronto , 5 Kings College Circle, Toronto M5S3G8, Canada.
Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network , 550 University Avenue, Toronto M5G2A2, Canada.
Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto , 164 College Street, Toronto M5S3G9, Canada.


Fiber debonding and pullout are well-understood processes that occur during damage and failure events in composite materials. In this study, we show how these mechanisms, under controlled conditions, can be used to produce multifunctional textured surfaces. A two-step process consisting of (1) achieving longitudinal fiber alignment followed by (2) cutting, rearranging, and joining is used to produce the textured surfaces. This process employs common composite manufacturing techniques and uses no reactive chemicals or wet handling, making it suitable for scalability. This uniform textured surface is due to the fiber debonding and pullout occurring during the cutting process. Using well-established fracture mechanics principles for composite materials, we demonstrate how different material parameters such as fiber geometry, fiber and matrix stiffness and strength, and interface behavior can be used to achieve multifunctional textured surfaces. The resulting textured surfaces show very high friction coefficients on wet ice (9× improvement), indicating their promising potential as materials for ice traction/tribology. Furthermore, the texturing enhances the surface's hydrophobicity as indicated by an increase in the contact angle of water by 30%. The substantial improvements to surface tribology and hydrophobicity make fiber debonding and pullout an effective, simple, and scalable method of producing multifunctional textured surfaces.


fiber composites; fiber pull out; friction; ice friction; slip resistance; surface texturing


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