Effect of Composition of Fibers on Properties of Hybrid Composites

Effect of Composition of Fibers on Properties of Hybrid Composites

R. Panneer (Sastra University, Thanjavur, India)
DOI: 10.4018/IJMMME.2017100103
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Fibers embedded in the matrix of another material are the best example of modern day composite materials. Hybrid Composites made out of an amalgamation of Natural Fibers such as banana, jute, and coir along with glass fiber embedded in polymers have potential applications in automotive, aircraft and marine industries for their unique characteristics like high specific strength, light weight, design flexibility, corrosion resistance, biodegradability and low cost. In this work, epoxy hybrid composites reinforced with glass fiber mats and banana, jute, coir fibers of random lengths between 10-25 mm are prepared by varying their compositions in terms of weight percentage. The composites are fabricated by hand lay-up process and cut into test specimens as per ASTM Standards. Their mechanical characteristics such as Tensile Strength, Flexural Strength, Impact Strength, Hardness, Density and Water Absorption Capacity are evaluated and analysed.
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Generally, Composites consists of fibers and a matrix which binds the fibers. According to Nitin Jauharia et al. (2015) fibers which are discontinuous hold the load that is applied. Matrix which are continuous bind the fibers as well as transmit the load to the fibers. Natural fibers are renewable and they are a new type of reinforcement which enhances the properties of polymer based materials. Sanjay M.R. et al. (2016) established that natural fiber composite materials are environmental friendly and therefore gaining importance in manufacturing of Hybrid composites. Natural fibers are one such proficient material which replaces the synthetic materials and its related products either partially and fully for the less weight and energy conservation applications. These fibers can be classified as Mineral fibers, Animal fibers, and Vegetable fibers. According to Hoi-yan Cheung (2009), Giuseppe Cristaldi (2010), and Nguong. C.W. (2013), vegetable fibers are very extensively used and classified as: Fruit fibers like Coir, Leaf fibers like Ukum, Pineapple, Sisal, Bagasse, Flax, Jute, banana, Hemp, etc. and Seed fibers like cotton. The fibers extracted from Kenaf, Hemp, Jute, Sisal Bamboo and Flax are best suited for reinforcements in Composites because of their excellent mechanical characteristics. Natural fibers have many beneficial properties such as better strength to weight ratio, low weight, high stiffness, high fatigue strength, low thermal expansion, high corrosion resistance, good bending, impact, compressive, tensile strengths, recyclability, no health threat, no irritation to the skin, non-depletable and non-abrasive to the equipment. Nitin Jauharia et al. (2015) noted that the energy required for production of these natural fibers is almost less than half of the amount needed for glass fibers. Therefore, Natural fibers are ideal for reinforcing composites along with glass fibers to gain economical advantage as well as to realize a score of benefits. However, Puglia et al (2005) observed few disadvantages such as incongruity with the water-resistant polymer materials, the propensity to develop aggregates during processing and reduced resistance to wetness reduce the prospective use of natural fibers as reinforcements in polymers. Therefore, utmost care should be exercised during processing to avoid aggregates and suitable coatings shall be applied to avoid dampness is required.

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